Bittersweet chocolate fans will love this cheesecake- creamy and light but not as high as the typical New York style cheesecakes. This recipe will make a 10" cheesecake (you'll need a springform pan) or about 20 "two-bite" or "three-bite" pieces. You can buy some really nice silicon molds or use mini cupcake molds.
For the crust:
- 1/4 pound wheatmeal crackers finely crushed (about 1 cup)- I used McVittie's digestive biscuits
- 1 ounce fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), grated - I used Lindt's Madagascar chocolate which is actually 70% cacao
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 pound fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), chopped
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 500 gr. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
- Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle.
Make the filling and bake the cheesecake:
Melt chocolate with butter, then remove from heat. Whisk the cream cheese in the mixer until smooth. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Place this mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.
Whisk together eggs and sugar in a large bowl until mixture has a mousse-like consistency, then stir in chocolate mixture.
Pour the filling into the crust and bake 1 1/2 hours. (Top will be slightly cracked.) I used small molds- for the rectangular molds (hold about 1 tbsp of filling), I place the crumbs on the bottom of the molds. For star shaped molds (hold about 2 tbsp of filling), I placed the crumbs on top of the cheesecake filling so that, when I unmolded them, the crust would be on the widest part of the star/mold. Baking time should be shortened, depending on the size of the mold- for the smallest, I baked them 15 minutes up to 25 minutes for the slightly larger molds.
Cool to room temperature in the pan on a rack, about 1 hour, then chill at least 1 hour. (Cake will sink slightly.) Freeze them in the molds. Unmold when frozen and wrap individually. To serve, allow the cakes to thaw slightly- about 15 minutes.
Add toasted, chopped hazelnuts, with the skins removed.