When the temperatures rise and turning on the oven just isn’t an option, chocolate cheesecake parfaits are a go-to treat! This simple and decadent no-bake dessert features layers of dark chocolate, ricotta, and Greek yogurt. It’s fast, easy, and so delicious.
Luscious chilled chocolate cheesecake parfaits are such a tempting treat, especially when it’s hot outside. I love the ease of making dishes in advance. As a mother to an active toddler, anything that makes life easier in the kitchen is a bonus!
Serve it together with a little side of history, and you’ve got yourself a perfect dessert recipe.
A Taste of Chocolate History
Throughout history, chocolate has played many roles, most notably as a symbolic aphrodisiac. Cacao bean pods, the source of chocolate, grow on Theobroma cacao trees, which translates to “cacao, food of the gods.” The Aztecs and Maya used the beans found within the pods as a form of currency. The Maya were known to exchange a few beans for a night of passion at the brothel. Aztec emperor Montezuma reportedly consumed 50 cups of chocolate each day in order to satisfy his many, many wives.
Anybody who has read the memoirs of the notorious Italian lover Casanova can’t help but notice his addiction to chocolate. He starts each day with a cup of chocolate for breakfast; it is comical to see the amount of times chocolate is mentioned during his escapades. I can imagine he would have adored these chocolate cheesecake parfaits!
So what are chocolate’s passion-inducing qualities? Scientists have narrowed it down to two key components – phenethylamine and tryptophan. The former stimulant releases in the brain when we fall in love. The latter aids in producing serotonin, a brain chemical associated with elevated moods and sexual arousal.
In addition to all of this, chocolate makes for a very satisfying dessert!
This may all explain why I’ve fallen in love with these simple, elegant and tempting Chocolate Cheesecake Parfaits. Make them with lowfat ricotta and nonfat Greek yogurt to lighten things up, or use full fat dairy for a more luscious, creamy cheesecake filling. Make ahead and chill for an easy and impressive end to a delicious summer meal. Enjoy!
No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Parfaits
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (9 ounces)
- 7 tablespoons sugar (divided)
- 1/4 cup whole milk (you may substitute lowfat)
- 2 tablespoons amaretto or Grand Marnier (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (heaping)
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese (lowfat ok)
- 8 ounces Greek yogurt (lowfat or nonfat ok)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
- Chocolate shavings or sliced strawberries for garnish
- 1 cup sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
- In a double-boiler combine chocolate chips, 6 tbsp sugar, milk, almond liqueur and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly until the mixture is smooth.
- Combine ricotta, Greek yogurt and vanilla in a stand mixer or large mixing bowl and whip until thoroughly combined.
- While the chocolate mixture is warm, but not hot, slowly pour it into the cheese mixture while whisking. Beat until everything is incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Crush the chocolate cookies in a food processor or place them in a plastic storage bag and crush with a rolling pin.In a medium bowl, whip together heavy cream and 1 tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form.
- To assemble: Place 2 tbsp of the cookie crumbs in the bottom of 8 parfait cups.
- Evenly distribute the chocolate cheesecake mixture between the cups.
- Top with an additional 2 tbsp of the crushed cookies.
- Divide the whipped cream evenly between the 8 cups to top the parfaits.
- Garnish each parfait with chocolate shavings, sliced almonds, a sliced strawberry, blueberries, cherries, or any fruit of your choosing. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.