Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fudge Mini-Cheesecakes with Glazed Raspberries

One of the smartest kitchen gadgets I’ve ever bought was a mini-cheesecake pan. I treasure it! When I feel like serving cheesecake to a small number of guests, I don’t need to worry about having a large, leftover cheesecake in the fridge.
Fudge Mini-Cheesecake with Glazed Raspberries

Instead, I can adjust my recipe to make as much or as little cheesecake as I want. At a recent lunch for two longtime friends, I wanted just four servings of this rich, dark chocolate cheesecake, so that’s exactly what I made. 

Fudge Mini-Cheesecakes with Glazed Raspberries:

To Prepare the Crust:

⅔ c. chocolate baking crumbs
2 tsp. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Combine crumbs and sugar. Mix in butter or margarine with a fork until uniformly distributed. Spray-grease six mini-cheesecake compartments, spooning 3 tbsp. of crumb mixture into each. Press firmly and evenly into removable base of each, producing crust about 1/2-in. thick. Using a dampened paper towel, carefully wipe stray crumbs from sides of each mini-tray. Bake 5 min. Cool crumb base, but do not remove from trays.

To Prepare the Filling:

1 - 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. “brick-style” cream cheese (do not use soft, spreadable cream cheese)
½ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
¾ tsp. vanilla extract

Using electric mixer or blender washed of any crumbs, combine filling ingredients until smooth, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl or blender. Pour cream cheese mixture over baked crust in trays, filling to 3/8-in. from top. Bake 15-to-18 min. Centers should not jiggle but should remain slightly soft. Cool cheesecakes at room temperature 1 hr. before refrigerating. Surface will appear puffy and cracked. Do not remove from trays. Refrigerate several hours, until very cold. Surface will now appear smooth, glazed, and flat.

To remove chilled cheesecakes from pan, place a narrow-necked jar under each cheesecake, pressing pan down on jar to raise removable base of each tray. Carefully lift off each mini-cheesecake. When mini-cheesecakes are free of pan, peel removable metal base from bottom of baked crust. Set mini-cheesecakes on individual serving plates to garnish before presenting. Serves 4.

To Prepare Glazed Raspberries:

¾ c. raspberry jam or jelly
12 firm, fresh raspberries (three per-plate)
Whipped cream, slightly sweetened with icing sugar (“confectioners” or “powdered” sugar)

Several hours before serving, warm raspberry jam or jelly over low heat on stove top. If using jam, strain to discard lumps of fruit. Cool 5 min. Placing raspberries over a wire rack with a bowl underneath to catch the drips, pour slightly warm jelly over raspberries to glaze them. Once glaze is completely set, place  raspberries on parchment paper until needed. 

Transfer remaining glaze to small plastic squeeze bottle with thin nozzle. Glaze may need thinning with small amount of hot water added drop by drop. Shake glaze and water together in bottle. Glaze should not appear “watery.” On each of four plates, squeeze jelly through nozzle to create a quick, random design: I usually do a fast zig-zag. 

Place Fudge Mini-Cheesecake on side (not centre) of plate. Pipe or spoon whipped cream against one side of cheesecake. Be generous: These rich, dark chocolate cheesecakes are not overly sweet, so the whipped cream is the perfect complement to soften their intense chocolate flavor. Using small tongs or two spoons, arrange each of three glazed raspberries randomly on glazed plate. Makes 4 mini-cheesecakes.

For another mini-cheesecake recipe, consult the Index under Cakes: Cheesecake (Mini with Raspberry Sauce).

Note: I’ve also made 
this recipe with glazed 
strawberry halves. 
Here’s how it turned 

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