24 ounces low-fat (1%) cottage cheese (3 cups)
12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (1 1/2 cups), cut into pieces
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, melted
16 chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)
1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 20 wafers)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water
To make crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 325Â°F. spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap the outside bottom of the pan with a double thickness of aluminum foil to keep out water while the cheesecake is baking.
2. In a small bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, oil and coffee; blend with a fork or your fingertips. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover and set aside.
To Make Filling and Bake Cheesecake:
1. In a food processor, puree cottage cheese until very smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the workbowl. (If using a small food processor, transfer the cottage cheese to the mixing bowl of an electric mixer.) Add cream cheese, brown and white sugars, cocoa and cornstarch. Process (or beat with an electric mixer) until smooth. Add egg, egg whites, coffee, vanilla, salt and chocolate and blend well. Pour into the crust-lined pan.
2. Place the cheesecake in a shallow roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come 1/2 inch up the side of the springform pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center still jiggles when the pan is tapped. Turn off the oven. Spray a knife with cooking spray and quickly run it around the edge of the cake. Let cake cool in the oven, with the door ajar, for 1 hour. Transfer from the water bath to a wire rack and remove foil. Let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
To serve: Before serving, garnish the cheesecake with chocolate-covered coffee beans, if using.