Plainclothes Feast

A weekly peek at one dinner table, in the heart of one home, in the center of the country

Individual Chocolate Cheesecakes

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chocolate cheesecake 004

If my individual cheesecakes post from Valentine’s Day moved you to action, then this post is designed to keep you cheesecaking.  Once you’ve gone through the trouble to acquire and, more importantly, store his-and-hers ramekins, you will certainly want to take every available opportunity to use them, won’t you?  Even if it means producing a few more little cheesecakes than are probably necessary, strictly speaking, you will need to reassure yourself that they now play an indispensable role in your culinary life.

But you would hate to be suspected of having fallen into a rut (even if it is a tartly, creamily, fluffily perfect rut), so you’ll want to try something a little different.  Remember a few years ago, when Coldstone Creamery captured all of our imaginations (and our discretionary calories) with its endless combinations of mix-ins?  I think the individual cheesecake recipe can occupy that happily mutable role, in a more grown-up way, and without costing us a few thousand dollars per ounce.

If you could use a little ramekinny romance this weekend, try this. (It is just my original recipe with a little bittersweet chocolate and coffee and/or coffee liqueur mixed in.):

Individual Cheesecakes (makes 2 or 3, depending on the size of your ramekins)

6 graham cracker squares

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

1/2 tablespoon sugar (turbinado or regular old white)

a pinch kosher salt

4 ounces of cream cheese

4  tablespoons white sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1/4 cup sour cream

3 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate,chopped

1/4 cup of strong brewed coffee (replace up to 1 tablespoon with coffee-flavored liqueur, if you have some lying around)

1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries

whipped cream

Follow the original recipe except…

Melt the chocolate in the coffee (and coffee liqueur, if using).  You can use the microwave or a heavy saucepan on your stovetop over low heat. Add it to your well-beaten mixture at the end of step 4.

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