Friday, July 8, 2011

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

Tim and I made these cheesecakes for our friend Wistaria's birthday dinner, and let me tell you - they were amazing!  They start off with a chocolate cookie crust - we were at a sort of strange grocery store that didn't have regular chocolate wafer cookies, so we ended up getting Oreos and scraping out the insides.  Sort of an annoying task, but it worked.  However, I definitely recommend just getting normal cookies if you can.  :)  In any case, the crust turned out to be delicious, especially topped with chocolate cheesecake!

The cheesecake filling is your typical chocolate cheesecake, extra rich and delicious with a wonderful smooth texture.  Because the cheesecakes are baked in muffin tins, they're small enough that you don't really have to worry about cracking.  Additionally, the cupcake papers shrink in with the cheesecakes as they cool, rather than bits of cheesecake sticking to the sides and creating cracks.  Finally, once the cheesecakes are cool, they're topped with a mascarpone-sour cream topping that's absolutely delicious.  If you don't want to purchase both, I'm pretty sure you could get away with using all of one or the other, but the combination certainly was delicious!  Raspberries made a great topper, but another berry (maybe strawberries?) or a fruit sauce would also be delicious.  Something a little on the tart side is nice just because the cheesecake is so rich.  Overall, this was a delicious and festive birthday dessert - definitely a winner!

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes (adapted from strawberries in paris, original recipe here)
Makes about 18 mini cheesecakes

For the crust:
8 oz chocolate wafers (or Oreos with the cream scraped out), ground to crumbs with a food processor
5 T butter, melted
2 T granulated sugar

For the cheesecake
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, inside scraped out

For the topping:
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree.  Pour some water in a shallow pan that will fit your muffin tins, and place in the oven.  Fill 18 (or so) muffin cups with cupcake papers.
2. Mix together all of the crust ingredients and spoon 1 T or so into each cupcake paper, pressing down with the back of a spoon.
3. Beat together the cream cheese and marscarpone at high speed for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Beat in the melted chocolate, sugar, and vanilla bean innards until thoroughly blended. Continue beating until the mixture is very smooth, for about 4 minutes.
4. Set the mixer on low speed and add the eggs one at a time, beating until just incorporated but taking care not to overbeat. Add the heavy cream and beat just until incorporated, for about 30 seconds.
5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top of the papers.  Place the tins on the sheet filled with water in the oven (working in two batches if needed).
6. Bake until the mini cheesecakes are set on top but still a bit jiggly in the center, about 20 minutes - check them often.  Remove from the oven, cool, and then chill until firm. 
7. Mix topping ingredients together and spoon over the cheesecakes.  Top each one with a raspberry!

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  1. How cute and very festive! You're such a good friend to make these!

  2. This sounds so delicious! I mean c'mon - chocolate cheesecake, mascarpone, berries and cookies, this MUST be the seventh heaven :)

  3. Lovely mini version of cheesecake. I think I'd like this for summer treat.

  4. I've never tried chocolate cheesecakes but these look wonderful!