I made these cheesecakes as a gift for my sister to keep her awake during her law school finals. The crust is an adaptation from Doris Greenspan’s awesome book Baking that my amazing friend Julia gave us as an unsolicited wedding present. With the aid of a food processor, it whizzes together in no time and is flaky and delicious.
After all of the lemons and limes from the wedding, I was trying to find ways to use them and I decided to make a key lime pie/cheesecake hybrid using cream cheese and condensed milk. What resulted was a very creamy cake, which baked evenly and didn’t crack--a cheesecake miracle. I tried the concept again with coffee and with great result. This is pretty much no fail cheesecake so for those of you that are scared, go ahead and try it.
This recipe makes about 36 mini cheesecakes or enough to make bars in a large baking pan (I only made 24 and had a ton of leftovers). Make sure to use non-stick cupcake pans with lots of Pam, a little faith, and a sharp knife to extract them.
Mini Coffee Cheesecakes with Chocolate Crust
For the crust (adapted from Doris Greenspan’s Desserts)
3 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons very cold butter
3 egg yolks
For the filling
2 8-oz packages cream cheese
2 14 oz cans condensed milk
1 cup freshly brewed coffee—cooled to room temp
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs plus one yolk
Chocolate covered espresso beans to top
Per Doris Greenspan’s instructions:
Put the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. Stir the yolks and add a little at a time (you probably will only need 2 yolks and a bit from the 3rd so don’t add it all too quickly). When the egg is in, process in long pulses until there are clumps and curds. Press the dough into very well greased muffin tins and freeze the crust for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375. Cover the muffin trays and prebake the crusts for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350.
With a mixer, whip the cream cheese until fluffy, slowly adding the condensed milk until well combined. Add the coffee, vanilla and eggs until well combined. Fill the crusts, cover and bake for 15 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove and while still warm add an espresso bean to each one. Chill. Once cakes are cooled, carefully remove each with a sharp knife.