Tuesday, October 9, 2012

117/365: Miniature Chocolate Cheescakes

Today I made:

a delicious mess...

Hubby is sick in bed tonight, and since my art studio is in the bedroom, I had to put anniversary gift making on hold. Hoping for some major inspiration to finish up the album tomorrow, but tonight I busied myself with baking. Each year on our anniversary I attempt to recreate our wedding dessert. We served the most incredible mini chocolate cheesecakes in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. They were made for us by two of my darling girlfriends, who turned out to be quite the pastry chefs. The recipe came from a parent of one of my former students and it's by far one of our favorite desserts around here. I'm pretty sure this dessert is one of the reasons hubby and I are happily married. ;) So I dug up the old heart-shaped tins tonight and made a chocolaty mess of the kitchen. The cheesecakes are cooling, so I'll post a photo of them later. Here's the recipe.

*I use a "Chicago Metallic Gourmetware Sweetheart Pan" that has helpful little finger holes at the bottom of each cup that allow you to push the base up and lift out the cheesecakes. I believe they come in round cups as well.

Miniature Chocolate Cheesecakes Recipe

Cookie Crust Ingredients/Instructions:
- 8 whole chocolate graham crackers
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli or Guittard brand)

*Preheat oven to 350

Chop graham crackers in food processor until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and sugar. Blend.
Transfer mixture to a bowl. Chop bittersweet chocolate in food processor and stir into graham cracker mixture. Divide mixture equally among molds in 12-mold mini cheesecake pan, pressing evenly into the bottom of each cup.

Bake 5-7 minutes and allow to cool.

Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients/Instructions:
- 14 oz. cream cheese (not whipped)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (it melts easily in the microwave, about 90 sec.)
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs

Put all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape bowl and blend again. Scoop mixture onto the baked and cooled cookie crusts in the mini cheesecake pan, dividing evenly and filling almost to the top.

Bake until set, just under 15 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Transfer to refrigerator and chill thoroughly.

Serve plain or with cream and berries. Chocolate lovers enjoy!

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