Tuesday, February 23, 2010

chocolate cheesecake tarts

our last valentine's day as a couple without children was spent at home, relaxing and cooking. we decided to do dinner in, similar to last year but without the multi-course meal. i can't stand for that long and can't fit that much food in my already stretched to capacity belly. (as a recap, i am 35 weeks pregnant)

the dinner post is coming after the dessert post because these little tarts are too cute not to share right now. (and already they are late, since valentine's day was over a week ago) i knew i wanted something chocolate and i really wanted to use my tart pans for the first time. i figured little fudgey cheesecakes with chocolate crusts and berries on top fit the festive theme.

(poor teddy graham had no idea what was coming...)

i wasn't concerned about the crust. chocolate grahams, butter, and a touch of sugar. to be honest, i didn't fully measure. plus, the grocery store carries no chocolate graham crackers, so i was forced to chop up teddy grahams for the cause.

chocolate graham crust (for 8-10 mini tart pans)
1 c chocolate grahams, pulsed to crumbs in a food processor
1/8 c melted butter (give or take)
1 tbsp sugar

1. mix together - should stick together slightly and hold shaped when pressed (adjust graham and butter ratios to reach this consistency)
2. scoop into tart pans and press around bottom and up sides
3. bake at 350F for about 5 minutes, cool

for the filling, i found a basic cheesecake recipe on allrecipes.com and adjusted to fit my smaller servings. i used about 1/3 of the original recipe and skipped the sour cream topping.

chocolate cheesecake filling (adapted from mary walker on all recipes)
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp strong brewed coffee
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c baking cocoa
1/3 c semisweet chocolate chips

1. beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth
2. add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined
3. stir in coffee and vanilla then beat in cocoa just until blended
4. stir in chocolate chips
5. using a cookie scoop or spoon, drop filling into prepared tart pans
6. place on a baking sheet and bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes or until center is almost set
7. cool on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill
8. best served with berries

this is an extremely rich little dessert. it really was like cheesecake fudge with a crumbly chocolate crust. it's so rich that the berries were a must - a bit of fresh flavor to cut the chocolate. but oh so good! and everything is better when cutely packaged - these tart pans (the round are from william's sonoma and the ovals are from a local antique shop) are perfect for individual desserts.

as a note, they were best after being in the fridge overnight (day 2), but by day 3 they had hit their max. i can't imagine anyone making it longer than that ;)


Kelly Schulz said...

From one pregnant person to another....YUMMM those look incredible!!

All Things Considered said...


Thomas said...

Delicious indeed! Poor Teddy, but he's in a better place now.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these look so decadent and deliciously rich-I love the flavor combination of strawberries and dark chocolate so I will definitely be making this soon-YUM!

HanaĆ¢ said...

Those look delicious. Love the pairing with strawberries, and I'm sue they'd be just as lovely with raspberries. As I was looking thru your recipe, I thought something was missing, either melted choc or cocoa. I clicked on the original recipe and found the missing link: cocoa :o) Just trying to help... :o)

alauna said...

thanks all! they are so tasty :)

hanaa - the cocoa is listed as baking cocoa and is the second to last ingredient in the tart filling recipe. but thanks for letting me know just in case; i came back to update but was relieved i hadn't led the masses forward without the chocolate!