Its great to be back from a vacation, and yet its funny how the first thing I yeanr to make once I’m back in my kitchen is a dessert! Yes, I am a sweet-freak, and here’s a quick treat for fellow sweet-freaks, albeit with a dash of some caffeine to get you up and awake – Mocha Cheesecake baked in cups, and dotted with lovely Bourbon creme is an exotic and elegant way to enjoy your coffee. This Woman’s Day recipe (photo by Jonny valiant) is a perfect treat for tea-parties or for a tray displaying Hors d’oeuvres. The smooth creamy texture makes it as delicate as a cheesecake, and the concept of baking it in cups makes it both appealing as well as portioned just right! Feel free to experiment with your favorite cheesecake recipe and bake them in cups, just in case you are not in mood for chocolate or coffee.
Mocha Cheesecake in Cups
Makes 6 individual servings
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp coffee liqueur
1/8 tsp salt
1 brick (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp Bourbon syrup (optional)
Heat oven to 325ºF. Place 6 (1-cup capacity) ovenproof coffee cups into a 13 x 9-in. baking pan and keep ready.
Bring milk and espresso powder to a simmer over medium heat; whisk to blend. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes, then stir until smooth. Stir in liqueur and salt. Let cool to room temperature.
Place cream cheese and sugar in food processor and blend until nice and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and process until smooth. Pour into a 1-qt glass measure; whisk in chocolate mixture until blended.
Pour the mixture into cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Fill baking pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the cups.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until just set and slightly soft in centers. The top should be jiggly, just like a normal cheesecake, while the edges should leave the cups.
Transfer baking pan to wire rack; cool cups in water bath until just warm to the touch.
Topping: Whip cream with confectioners’ sugar until very soft peaks form. Add the bourbon essence and blend well. Spoon the creme mixture over each Cheesecake Cup before serving and dust with more powdered sugar if you like.
If you are a cheesecake fan, you will love this espresso version. What I like most about the recipe is that it resembles a molten chocolate cake, with softer centers, yet retains the cheesecake texture, and of course, baking these in cups or ramekins makes them perfect for entertaining! you can eat them right out of the cups, without going through the hassle of using string-form pans or techniques to remove cheesecake from the baking pan.