Happy Friday the 13th!
Is that bad luck day? Depends on who you ask. If you ask Little Buddha, he’d probably disagree since 13 is his favorite number, and it served him pretty well those years playing basketball and soccer. However, for all you triskaidekaphobics out there, here’s something that may make today not so scary.
Chocolate Cheesecake Cups
It doesn’t really fit into South America, but I did promise something chocolate for tomorrow (Valentine’s Day, in case you were keeping track) and I always keep my promises. I took the opportunity and my lack of direction on the subject to tap into the cookbook stores.
I’ve mentioned here and there that I don’t buy my own cookbooks (save one), but they are often gifted to me. I have nothing against them, and the good ones….they tell a story. They can transport us like any good novel; into someone’s thoughts, life, family and kitchens, and when we make something from them, for a bit, we connect with their authors. Sorry for getting all deep and mushy on you, but it turns out I do have quite the sentimental heart, despite my sometimes cold-fish exterior. Anyway, one book on my shelf has been sitting there unused for years. Sad, given the contents (ALL DESSERTS): Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. Everything in this book looks so phenomenal, but I’ve just never had an occasion to justify making something so rich for just myself. I’m pretty sure all the recipes use butter, cream and eggs to the fullest extent. However, if there is any day to indulge oneself, it’s Valentine’s Day (also, my half-birthday!).
I did tweak the recipe, just a little, to make it not so rich (I couldn’t help it). However, it’s still incredibly decadent and these little pots of heaven are a happy addition to my V-day celebration for one. If we’re getting technical, they are cheesecake cups, but not in the traditional sense. They’re not goopy as if made with cream cheese (ew), but rather the ricotta (substituted for mascarpone) made them airier, almost soufflé-ish (I say –ish because they’re still not that airy). In any case, I like think of them more as ricotta puddings. (Confession, I overbaked mine because I got carried away with God knows what, and they still taste fine, just perhaps not as smooth. Do as I say, not as I do.) You can top them with whipped cream (why wouldn’t you), fruit or salted caramel (mwahahaha), but you really don’t even have to do that. They’re great, just as they are.
And so are you. Just as you are.
(told you I’d thrown in a Bridget Jones reference soon. And who got the Love, Actually reference?)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup (4 oz) ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 TB granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp coconut extract (optional)
- ¼ tsp espresso powder (optional)
- Sweetened whipped cream, to serve
- Boiling water, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350F, and position the rack in the middle of the oven.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the cream and milk, and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan before the mixture boils. Add the chocolate, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, add the eggs, cheese, sugar, extracts and powders. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Add the cooled chocolate, and stir until all well combined.
- Put 4, 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins in an empty 9 x 13” baking pan. Divide the chocolate mixture into the cups (about ½ cup per ramekin).
- Put the baking dish in the oven, and then carefully pour boiling water into the pan, adding just enough to go halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cheesecakes appear solid but still jiggle slightly. They will firm as they cool. Transfer each pot to a baking rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight, until ready to serve. Serve with any number of toppings your heart desires. Or, none at all.
- Feel free to use all heavy cream.
- You can substitute mascarpone cheese for the ricotta.
As seen on msn!