Thursday, February 7, 2008

My First Cheesecake(s) Ever!

Thanks to Nemmie, I discovered the best competition ever created: Death by Chocolate by Culinate. Anyhoo, so I found some Mini Mint Chocolate Cheesecakes by Sugar Plum which ended up being the perfect "birthday cake" for Laura, as both her and my sister are avid Cheesecake Factory fans.

I think I overdid the mint flavoring a tidge, but other than that, these were pretty tasty and easy to make!

Mini Mint Chocolate Cheesecakes

5 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely ground
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (generous)
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 large egg1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and generously butter 4 Texas-sized muffin cups, or 6 regular muffin cups.

In a small mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs, and butter, until combined. Press into bottom of muffin cups. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until creamy. Beat in sugar, vanilla extract, and mint extract, until combined. Beat in cream and melted chocolate, until combined. Beat in egg, until just combined.

Pour batter onto crusts, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheesecake is starting to crackle on the outsides.

Cool pan on a wire rack, for 30 minutes; top with ganache.

To make the ganache, heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat, until butter is melted, and mixture is hot. Remove pan from heat, and stir in chocolate, until melted, and well combined. If necessary, place pan back on the heat source, and stir until melted.

Spread the ganache evenly over cheesecakes.

Chill muffin pan in the refrigerator for 3 hours, or until ready to serve. Run a knife around the outsides, and scoop the cheesecakes out onto a serving platter.

Yield: 4-6


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