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Do you ever feel like eating a piece of cheesecake?  Such a creamy comfort food. Then you stop and think about how MANY calories are in an entire piece of cheesecake.  I know, these are things that are better not thought about it.  But you happen to be watching TV and suddenly there’s a clip on The Biggest Loser telling you exactly how much damage you’d be doing if you indulge.  Why?  Some things are better left unsaid, unnamed physical trainers!

Well, the following is my idea of a compromise.  It’s adapted from a recipe I found on the Hershey’s website.  I cut the recipe into a third since we certainly don’t need 24 small cheesecakes around here. I’ve used lower fat cream cheese, fat-free sweetened condensed milk and it’s only the size of a small muffin! Don’t mind the full fat cream that’s part of the ganache.  That’s just a garnish.

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
yields 8

1/2 cup graham crackers crumbs
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. powdered sugar
2 T. cocoa

1/2 cup cocoa
2 3/4 T. butter, melted
8 oz. neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
4.5 oz. fat-free sweetened condensed milk (about 1/3 of a 14 oz can)
1 egg, room temperature
3/4 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with 8 paper liners. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, powdered sugar and cocoa in a small bowl. Press into the bottom of the cupcake liners and set aside. In a small bowl combine the butter and cocoa. In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the cocoa/butter mixture, milk, egg and vanilla. Mix until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed. Fill empty muffin cups with a bit of water and place in the oven. bake for 35 minutes. Cool completely.

Heat cream in microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute in the microwave. Do not scald! Add in chocolate and vanilla and let rest for a few minutes. Stir together until smooth and pour onto cheesecakes. Allow ganache to set and store in the refrigerator.

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