Brownie Cheesecake Torte

Cover recipe- Cooking Light, Brownie Cheesecake Torte: August 1997

Cover recipe- Cooking Light, Brownie Cheesecake Torte: August 1997

I’m not really sure why, but I’m not a huge fan of the word foodie (it’s just a quirk of mine!); if I had to though, I guess I would consider myself one since I enjoy and seek out (what I consider to be) good food. I didn’t realize it back in the day, but I think I’ve been a foodie for a while – at least since French Club in high school where my French teacher would make insanely delicious French treats like Napoleons, éclairs, and fresh crêpes for our monthly meetings, and then host potluck-style French dinners once a semester at his house. Those potlucks were the highlight of the school year!

It was also around that time that I first discovered food magazines; my mom randomly picked up an issue of Cooking Light one day while grocery shopping and brought it home. As I thumbed through it, my excitement grew and once she realized how much I enjoyed it, she got a subscription. I was hooked.

One year right before my birthday I happened to see the August 1997 cover of Cooking Light: Brownie Cheesecake Torte. Let me back up a second to tell you that growing up, my mom liked to make my siblings and I a different cake every year and she’d relentlessly question us about what cake we wanted until we told her, always saying that if we didn’t tell her, we’d get her specialty: German Chocolate Cake. As soon as I saw this torte, I knew I wanted it. For some reason, I recently thought about this torte again and decided I wanted it again for my birthday this year. Today happens to be my birthday, so what better time to share this recipe? Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

Brownie Cheesecake Torte

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Brownie Cheesecake Torte

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 (15.1-ounce) package low-fat fudge brownie mix (such as Snackwell’s)
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4-ounce) jar carrot baby food
Cooking spray
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons skim milk, divided
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Chocolate syrup, for garnish (optional)
Fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with the flour, vanilla, and cheeses; use a handheld electric mixer to beat at medium speed until well-blended. Add the egg whites and 2 tablespoons milk and beat well.
4. Combine 1/2 cup of the batter with 1 tablespoon milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the cocoa, and stir well.
5. Spoon the plain batter alternately with cocoa batter into the prepared crust. Swirl together using the tip of a knife.
6. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 250F (do not remove pan from oven) and bake 45 minutes, or until set.
7. Cool completely on a wire rack.
8. To serve, garnish with chocolate syrup and raspberries, if desired.

Tips:

This torte is wonderful as-is, but I’ve made this a few times throughout the years and my favorite way to make it is to omit the cinnamon and use 2 blocks of 1/3-less-fat cream cheese. And to be completely honest, I don’t worry so much about using a low-fat brownie mix because I save this dessert for special occasions.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 wedge
Calories per serving: 277
Fat per serving: 7.5g
Saturated Fat per serving: 3.8g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">338g
Fiber per serving: 1.3g
Protein per serving: 7.9g
Cholesterol per serving: 18mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 44.1g

The results:

This torte is easy to make and always impressive looking. It’s a swirled cheesecake in a brownie crust – what’s not to love?

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

I definitely think so. It’s the perfect go-to when you want an impressive treat that’s super easy to whip up.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.


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8 Responses to “Two- Cheese Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. 1

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — September 2, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    Yeah, when you said ‘healthy mac & cheese” I was like, there’s no such thing. I’m glad to see that you liked it. I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. 2

    Tieghan — September 2, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    Oh wow, this looks amazing!! I have never used chicken broth in mac and cheese, but I trust you, so I think I need to make this! Thank you for sharing!

  3. 3

    Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet — September 3, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

    I will have to try this lighter version of mac and cheese as my kids are huge fans! Great review, Lori!

  4. 4

    bridget {bake at 350} — September 3, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    Lori…this looks so good! Cream cheese?!? Hello! Love your notes! I always love a little red pepper, too!

  5. 5

    Becky — September 4, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    Interesting. Since you do not salt the pasta is it salty enough? I’m a big proponent of cooking my pasta in heavily salted water since it flavors the entire outcome of a pasta dish, but I’m guessing the chicken broth stands in for the salted water. So if you make this a 3 serving meal it becomes 716 calories per serving – yikes! I always like to add some dry mustard to my mac n cheese. Especially since this recipe is careful not to use too much cheese, some mustard or red pepper flakes would probably add great flavor!

    • Lori Lange replied: — September 4th, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

      I personally didn’t think so, but I also like to add a good sprinkle of salt to pretty much everything when it is served!

  6. 6

    Jamie — September 9, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    I made this as a side dish and my family loved it, my son and I ate it for a couple days afterwards. When I asked my husband how he liked it his response was “very good, but it can’t be healthy” and I told him it was a lightened up version of mac & cheese, he was surprised. It was very good and I will make this again. Next time I’ll add the red pepper flakes as Lori suggested and maybe some spinach to give it some more nutrients. I also used more garlic than the recipe called for and we thought the garlic was a huge bump to making this so good.

    • Lori Lange replied: — September 10th, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

      Adding spinach sounds like a wonderful idea! Glad you all enjoyed…

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