Just for fun, I make them in multiple sizes. Part of the joy is finishing the cheesecakes with different toppings: berries, whipped cream, sprinkles…you get the idea.
This recipe fills 12 standard muffin cups plus 12 mini-muffin cups (fitted with paper cupcake liners). Or, make several custard cups (again with liners). I suggest one standard muffin cup portion per person, but realistically, some people will clamor for seconds, so give them a mini or two.
- Serve well-chilled: the filling and crust are more fragile than a baked cheesecake, and are at their best when cold.
- To tamp down the crumbs in the liners (very important), use the bottom of a plastic-wrapped spice jar, one that just fits the cavity. Jars with tapered bottoms (like McCormick) work great.
- No maple syrup? Use agave nectar or other syrup (or skip the syrup)
- Espresso powder boosts the chocolate flavor; if you prefer, omit it and the water, and increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon.
By Kate Heyhoe
You’ll need an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer for this recipe, a saucepan, muffin tins and paper liners, and at least 4 hours for the cheesecakes to chill.
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar (5-1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- Stir the crumbs, butter and syrup together until evenly mixed. Place paper liners in muffin tins. For medium tins, spoon about 2 tablespoons crumbs into each cavity. For mini-muffin tins, use about 1 tablespoon crumbs. Tamp down the crumbs to form an even layer (see Tips).
- In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder with the water until dissolved. Add the vanilla extract.
- In a mixing bowl with a electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and espresso mixture together until smooth (no lumps).
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir the cream and both chocolates together until the chocolate melts and forms a smooth, shiny sauce. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
- Pour the chocolate sauce into the cream cheese mixture. Beat on low to medium speed until uniformly mixed.
- Layer the filling over the crust in each muffin cavity, adding enough mixture to completely fill the liner. This will be messy. Use two utensils, such as a silicon spatula and a spoon.
- Place a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap over the entire muffin tin, and run your hand over it to smooth the tops. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
- To serve, peel away the paper liners. Garnish with glee: powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, sea salt, chopped nuts, whipped cream, or berries. The sky’s the limit. Serve well-chilled (see Tips).