Monday, August 4, 2008
oh yes, this really was as good as it looks right here.
the last hurrah to our dinner with friends was dessert (isn't it always?). i remembered my promise to husband to make a chocolate version of mini cheesecakes and since i didn't really want plain chocolate cheesecake, i went with the next best thing: chocolate crust and topping, paired with some caramel and pecans. also known as turtle cheesecake, or, when your mouth fell in love with the most perfect little dessert.
i used the same cheesecake recipe from my white chocolate raspberry babies but did make a few changes for the crust because i used chocolate grahams. i figured they'd be a bit sweeter and i also noticed they were covered with sugar crystals (which my plain grahams were not), so i dropped the sugar down to just under 1/4 c.
i had some leftover crust mix this time (i didn't exactly measure the graham crumbs) and without having more tins to fill, i just set it aside. when husband came to the kitchen to check my progress, he seemed shocked that these crumbs might go to waste. so he filled up a tall glass with milk, got a spoon, and sat down with that bowl of leftover crumbs. i asked him if he knew that it was cookies, butter and sugar. he said of course he knew that and proceeded to lick the bowl clean.
so, the one without the sugar buzz (me) filled up the tins with cheesecake goodness and baked away. i think in my rushed state, i left them in the oven a bit too long. they came out extra puffy and deflated to a more sunken state than last time. i wasn't all that worried because i knew i'd be loading them up with toppings galore.
for both the chocolate and caramel drizzles, i used the same "recipe": heat heavy cream and pour over broken valrhona 71% dark chocolate and unwrapped milk caramels (separately, of course). i didn't really measure either amounts, just poured in a bit of hot cream and stirred briskly - if they needed more, i added more. i struggled with the caramel because it was so darn hard to melt and finally handed it off to husband. i came back to find the most glorious, creamy caramel in all of the world.
with my toppings ready, i set off on turtlizing the cheesecakes. first the chocolate (with a minute or so pause to allow it to set up), then the caramel (which thankfully doesn't set up) and finally a nice sprinkle of pecan pieces. it was all i could do not steal one right then.
um, these were good. they were 10 times (or more) better than the raspberry version. best right out of the fridge, they were perfectly cheesecake-y, chocolate-y and delicious. the extra dark chocolate drizzle was so great against the sweetness of the caramel and crust and the cheesecake was just the right texture to pull it all together. i want to say i will make these again, but i am afraid that i might not ever be without turtle cheesecakes if i do. mouth full, nodding in agreement, husband requested a standing order of these as he would like to consume one per day for possibly the rest of his life.