Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mini Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

One of Sean's coworkers is moving away and in honor of cheesecake being his favorite dessert, I decided to make mini cheesecakes again for movie night. But this time, I wanted to try mint chocolate chip. I skimmed a few recipes, but ultimately I went with a bastardized version of the Martha Stewart recipe.

I crushed teddy grahams again for the crust. Seriously, so good; much better than oreo crusts, in my opinion. It's buttery and more crackery (yeah, so that's not a word) than oreos, not to mention less crumbley.

To make a crust, you crush the crackers, then add sugar and melted butter and stir until the crumbs have absorbed the butter. Then pack the crumbs into baking liners and bake for 15 minutes until the crust has set.

In the meantime, I whipped up the cheesecake, which took half the time it did the first time I made it. You just beat cream cheese, then add sugar and vanilla, which is the sepia color you see above.

Then add two eggs and sour cream, which gives it that smooth consistency.

And here's where it got unfamiliar: adding extract and food coloring. I added just a teaspoon of peppermint extract and though I was convinced it wouldn't be enough, I was wrong. A teaspoon is the perfect amount!

Then I was supposed to add two drops of food coloring, but that's harder to do than it sounds. I added more like three drops and two dribbles and waited to see what would happen...

It looks perfect! Food coloring is kind of amazing; two drops yields SO much color. I added chocolate chips, which of course sunk to the bottom. As a result, some of the cheesecakes had one or two chips and some were FULL of chips.

Ready to go in the oven...

And fresh out of the oven. All those burned areas you see are a result of my sloppy pouring method. I am unskilled in keeping my baked goods neat and tidy.

After they came out, I had a notion to top them with chocolate ganache. I mixed chocolate chips and cream and voila! Ganache! It was tooooo easy, easier than it should be. But that doesn't mean I couldn't mess it up.

My error came when I enthusiastically made the ganache seconds after the cheesecakes came out of the oven. They're supposed to cool for an hour before adding the ganache, but of course they cooled for about six minutes before it was ready. Not knowing what to do, I just left it on very low heat and stirred occasionally. When I finally thought it was time to add the ganache to the cheesecakes, it had begun to separate, the thick chocolate leaving a yellow oily mess in its wake. And me being me, I went ahead and poured it onto a waiting cheesecake.

BAD IDEA. Gloopy, scary, separated mess. When it hardened, it had yellow splotches. Very disgusting. Distraught, I whined to Sean, who wisely said, "Okay, so make another batch of ganache."

Oh. Alright then.

So, this is round two of the ganache, which went decidedly better.

Messy, ganache-topped cheesecakes.

The cheesecakes are delicious, the ganache magical BUT I'm not sure it was wise to try the ganache move with mini cheesecakes. I think it would work much better with a full-size cheesecake made in a springform pan; the paper liners were buckling under its weight. Otherwise, this was awesome and I packed one for work today that was the envy of my coworker!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I love making cheesecake. It's so rewarding. Also, my very first cheesecake was topped with ganache it was 12 kinds of magical.