This past weekend my friend in passing mentioned she was having cheesecake for dessert and I had sudden cravings to acquire some of my own. I dreamed of cheesecake that was soft and creamy and that filled my chocolate cravings! This chocolate cheesecake recipe fills all of those needs and goes great with a glass of red wine.
I didn’t want to make an entire cheesecake because I was just making it for me and maybe my parents. The pandemic has us sharing less and needing smaller portions. This recipe is enough to make two four-inch mini cheesecakes or would likely fit in one six-inch or eight-inch springform pan.
I ended up baking the cheesecakes in a water bath so that the middle wouldn’t sink, and it worked perfectly. I also specify using Philadelphia brand cream cheese. This isn’t an ad, it’s because Philadelphia tastes significantly better and I have not yet found a comparison. If you're wondering whether it's worth paying the extra for Philly cream cheese the answer is yes, I refuse to use any other kind.
Serves: 2 4” cheesecakes (about 4 servings) Bake Temp: 300˚F Bake Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
For the cheesecake: 4oz chocolate 1 250g package of Philadelphia cream cheese 2 tbsp butter ¼ cup sour cream or plain yoghurt 1 egg ¼ cup of sugar 1 tsp corn starch 1 tbsp cocoa powder
For the sauce: 1/3 cup frozen dark red cherries 1 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp water 1 tsp cornstarch dash of ground nutmeg
1. Pre-heat your oven to 300˚F
2. Prepare your springform pan(s). Cut a circle out of parchment the same size as your pan and lay it on the bottom (this will ensure you can move your cake off the pan at the end of baking). Spray the inside of your pan(s) with baking spray to prevent sticking. Using aluminium foil wrap the bottom and outside of your pan(s) so that when you place it in a water bath it will not leak. Place it (them) in a larger baking pan and set aside.
3. Melt the chocolate in your microwave or using a double boiler. Set aside.
4. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer or a hand mixer cream together butter and cream cheese (this process is easier when both the butter and cream cheese are soft, but you don’t want them to be melted). Add egg, sugar, and sour cream and mix until fully incorporated. Add cornstarch and cocoa powder. Using a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all contents are fully combined.
5. With the mixer on low slowly add the melted chocolate to the mixer until fully incorporated. Fill your pan(s) with the cheesecake batter.
6. Place your springform pan(s) into the larger baking dish. Pour water into the larger dish about ¾ of the way to the top.
7. Put it in the oven and bake for about 1 hour and a half. You will know it is fully baked if the centre is set and you see slight cracking around the edges.
8. Cool for about ten to fifteen minutes before taking the cheesecake(s) out of the water bath and tinfoil, placing the cake(s) in their springform pan in the fridge. Let cool completely before removing the cake from the springform pan. (Keep refrigerated until serving)
For the cherry syrup
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine cherries, sugar and water. Let the mixture heat up so that the cherries get soft.
2. Add the cornstarch and mix with a spatula until the sauce thickens. Add the dash of nutmeg and mix. Remove from heat.
3. Add to cheesecake(s) when ready to serve. (Cherry sauce can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week).
My spring form pans in a water bath and in the oven.