I’m behind on my Wine and Unwind posts — this recipe is actually from two weeks ago. But, oh my, was this ever a popular one! Nothing hits the spot better after a five show weekend than cheesecake and champagne (thanks again, Anna Wintour, for the case of bubbly.)
I was only able to get a couple of pictures because JULIA ROBERTS was in the house that night and came backstage afterwards. To say the green room was crowded was an understatement. Oh, wait, is it tacky to name drop on a baking blog?
Chocolate Swirl Mini-Cheesecakes
(Based on a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ice water
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, cold
8 ounces block-style cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream OR sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted
1) For the crust: Preheat oven to 425°F. Add flour, almond flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Pulse twice. Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Do not over process. Sprinkle in the vanilla and a teaspoon or two of water if the dough is too crumbly to hold together when squeezed.
2) Divide the crumbs among the 12 cups of a bite-size cheesecake pan. Press them firmly to the bottoms and about 1/2″ up the sides. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until set and just beginning to color. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
3) For the batter: In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the cream, egg and almond extract, mix well. Spoon the batter into the cooled crusts, using about 2 tablespoons in each. Top with a scant half teaspoon of melted chocolate. Use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter.
4) Bake the cheesecakes for 18 to 20 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes — the tops will sink slightly. Use a knife to gently loosen the edges, then carefully invert the pan and push the cheesecakes out. Immediately turn the cheesecakes right-side up and chill them. To remove the metal plates before serving, run the blade of a table knife under hot water to warm it, then run the knife between the crust and the metal disk to free up the cheesecake.
5) Serve with whipped cream if desired.
Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes.