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From "Light & Tasty" magazine, Dec/Jan 2008. This was a big hit with my husband and his family. The hubby especially liked the crust. The fat is reduced in this recipe by using Neufchatel cheese, and by replacing baking chocolate with cocoa and canola oil. Cook time includes chilling time.
- 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about eight 4-cracker sheets)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 24 ounces neufchatel cheese or 24 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 cup ripe banana, mashed
- 1⁄2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar, then stir in butter.
- Set aside 1/4 cup of mixture for toping, and press the rest into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Place pan on a baking sheet and bake in a 350° oven for 7-9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Add egg and egg whites, and beat on low spped until just combined.
- Gently stir in banana, chocolate chips, and vanilla.
- Pour half of the batter over the crust.
- Combine cocoa and oil, and stir into remaining batter.
- Drop by spoonfuls into the pan and gently spread into an even layer.
- Sprinkle reserved crust mixture on top.
- Place the pan on an 18-inch square of aluminum foil, and wrap the foil around the pan.
- Place pan into a large baking pan, and add 1 inch of water to the baking pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, until the center is just set.
- Remove pan from water bath and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Carefully run a knife around the edge to loosen, then cool 1 hour longer.
- Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan before cutting and serving.