Who doesn't love confections that involve red velvet? This decadently delicious dessert comes in many guises and here as a mini cheesecake. These cakes are small, yet so perfectly formed into individual portions, which when topped with a little cream and shaved chocolate make sophisticated desserts.
Before decorating, these little cakes can be frozen and defrosted when needed, so dessert is made ahead of time, which is always a big help.
- 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 2 cups cream cheese
- 1/2 cup fine sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons red food color
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 cup whipped cream
- 2 ounces milk chocolate (grated)
Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the chocolate chips and melted butter in a small bowl. Take a small pinch of the mixture and press in the palm of your hand, the mixture should bind and if it is too greasy add a little more crumb. If it's too dry, add a bit more butter.
Place 12 foil cups into a 12-hole muffin tin. Divide the crumb between the 12 and press firmly into the base of the cup using the back of a spoon.
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Whip the cream cheese and sugar using a hand or electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. Sift the cocoa into the mixture and beat well. Then add the vanilla and food color and beat again.
Beat the eggs into the mixture one at a time. Do not rush this process. Each egg needs to be thoroughly mixed in before adding another, or you risk the mixture curdling.
Divide the cheese batter evenly between the twelve cups. Once filled, tap the muffin tin firmly on the counter to level the mixture.
Pop the tin into the center of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes; if the cheesecakes start to crack, lower the temperature slightly. The cheesecakes are cooked once the center is firm.
Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool.
The cakes can now either be decorated and sprinkled with grated chocolate or, if you are feeling adventurous, try a few chocolate curls. Otherwise, wrap carefully and pop the cakes into the freezer and decorate once defrosted, see notes below.
If you want to eat the cakes much later, freeze them. To freeze, wrap the individual cakes well in plastic wrap before freezing and keep them for no longer than four weeks. Always defrost slowly in the refrigerator before decorating with whipped cream and sprinkles of grated chocolate then serving.
If your oven runs hot, turn it down when making these cheesecakes as too hot the surface will crack; the cracks are not any detriment to the cakes and once they have cream on top, no-one will see them, so so not worry unduly.