Love is in the air. Or is it?
Ever since the British chocolate company J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar from cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and sugar in 1847, chocolate has become a “food of the Gods.” It is no wonder the average American consumes 12 pounds of chocolate each year, and more than $75 billion worldwide is spent on chocolate annually.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Jennifer Nasser, Associate Professor of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University, chocolate consumption causes your brain to release the pleasure chemical dopamine, which could put you in the mood for love.
Another similar study concluded that people were more romantically inclined when consuming foods which satisfied their sweet tooth, as opposed to foods which were salty or sour. When talking about their love interest, the singles in said experiment expressed that they would be more satisfied and committed.
When presented with potential love interests’ dating profiles, consuming sugar immediately before, or during the selections, it would appear that sugar increased the interest of the participants and how they rated the profiles.
As if this wasn’t sufficient evidence to consume this rich, silky delicacy, there is evidence to support that there is a correlation between taste and emotions. Turns out participants in one study who reported being in love, or feeling love, also rated several food items as sweeter, meaning being in love could actually make our food taste even better.
Whether or not these findings are conclusive, there’s enough evidence to justify your chocolate craving. After all, if you are single, it could help you connect with a mate, or just provide an explanation for eating a whole box of Belgium Chocolate Chip Bars.
In celebration of the “love holiday” this upcoming week, we’ve put together this decadent chocolate cherry cheesecake recipe to put you in the mood—for love or chocolate. Your choice. Filled with healthy ingredients, including a good dose of protein—while being low in calories makes it more than worth indulging in.
Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Recipe
- 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 Tbsp
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 10 ounces of cherries, pits removed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp water, chilled
- ½ ounce dark chocolate, shaved
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Mix graham crackers with 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt.
- Press graham cracker mixture into cupcake tin or baking dish.
- Using a food processor or mixer, blend remaining ¾ cup Greek yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
- Spoon mixture evenly into 12 muffin cups (or into baking dish).
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are set.
- Set aside to cool.
- In a small saucepan, combine cherries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, lemon juice, and salt, and bring to a simmer.
- Combine cornstarch and water until blended and add to cherry mixture.
- Once cooled, add cherry mixture to the top of each muffin.
- Garnish each muffin with shaved dark chocolate before serving.
Chef Tip: If serving this chocolate cherry cheesecake recipe in the same day, you may let muffins chill in the refrigerator (2 hours to 2 days).
Chef Tip: You may substitute the dairy for low fat or nonfat if you prefer (for the Greek yogurt and cream cheese).
Chef Tip: You may substitute Swerve or Stevia for the sugar.
*Recipe yields 12 servings
1 mini chocolate cherry cheesecake
- Calories: 131
- Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 14.8 g
- Protein: 13.8 g