I know that the blogosphere is jam packed with every imaginable treat this time of year. Bloggers have never made butter, sugar, and eggs look so damn good. So I apologize in advance for the gratuitous posting of this Weapon of (M)ass Destruction. But stick with me. Because I don’t want you to make Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes right now. No. I want you to wait until after the holidays when all the blogs are posting lighter, healthier recipes for the New Year.
Deep in the heart of January or February when you can’t look at another recipe extolling the praises of kale or chard, when it’s too cold for you to venture out and it’s too cold for rational people to come to you, that’s when you pull out this gem. In those dark days when you’re all alone with the Lifetime Movie Marathon, Mini Chocolate Cheesecake will be your friend. Your velvety chocolate, light as a dream friend.
Mini Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecakes
BAH Note: I chose to add some of the optional flavorings to the basic recipe. If you want to strip it down, omit the orange zest, vanilla, and espresso powder. According to D4T, this recipe serves six. I say that what you do with those six servings is between you and your conscience. Those dark days of winter can be a lonely place. Just in case you want to get a jump start and have some of these stashed away, Abby says that these can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month.
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
- 1 egg
- zest of 1 orange, approximately 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
Heat your oven to 300 degrees, line a muffin tin with 6 foil baking cups leaving the rest of the tin empty, and spray the liners lightly with cooking spray.
Place the chocolate and espresso powder in a small bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals on low power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, orange zest, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer for approximately 2 minutes or until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Add the sugar and melted chocolate and beat on medium low for about a minute or until blended, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the egg and mix until just incorporated. Use a spatula to give the batter one or two final folds to make sure all ingredients are mixed.
Spoon the better into the foil liners and use the back of a spoon to smooth out the tops. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the centers of the cheesecakes barely wobble when you move the pan. Set the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.