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These heavenly, dreamy, mini no-bake cheesecakes come in the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Easy to make and freeze ahead of time, they can be eaten chilled or frozen or anywhere in between.
1. In a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse the chocolate cookies until they are pulverized to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until evenly combined. (If you do not have a food processor, put the cookies in a zip-top bag and beat the tar out of them with a rubber mallet, heavy pan or rolling pin, then empty into a bowl and toss the butter in with a fork.)
2. Arrange 12 removable bottom tart pans or mini springform pans on a platter or pan with an edge and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add 2 packed tablespoons of the cookie crumb mixture to each pan and use your fingers to distribute the crumbs and pack them firmly and evenly against the bottom of the pan. (If using one large pie pan, add enough to cover the bottom of the pan and pack down firmly.) Put the crusts in the refrigerator to firm up while you work on the filling.
3. Use an electric or stand-mixer to blend the cream cheese on HIGH until smooth and creamy. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the peanut butter and mix again, on HIGH, until even and smooth.
4. Add 1 cup of the heavy cream, blending on HIGH until slightly thickened.
5. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides, add the sugar and mix on HIGH until quite thick.
6. Divide the filling evenly between the pans and smooth the tops. Put the platter or pan into the refrigerator for 20 minutes while you work on the ganache topping.
7. Put the chopped chocolate into a microwave safe bowl with the remaining cup of heavy cream and microwave on HIGH for one minute and thirty seconds, watching to make sure the cream does not boil over.
8. After heating, allow the bowl to rest in the microwave, keeping the door closed, for 5 minutes.
9. When the 5 minutes are up, remove the bowl and whisk slowly in one direction until even, smooth, and glossy. You’re going to think at first that I’ve lied to you. It’ll look splotchy and gross and curdled. Stick with it, though, it’ll get there.
10. Let the ganache rest on the counter for 5 minutes then spoon over the chilled cheesecakes. Smooth the tops and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
11. You can either serve them or freeze them once chilled. If desired, garnish with chopped peanut butter cups, shaved chocolate, or whipped cream.
These little lovelies are rich! One mini cheesecake can easily be split in half for those who prefer a lighter dessert.
They can be served chilled or directly from frozen for a more ice-cream like dessert. Either way is delicious. If you’d prefer them thawed, just set out on the countertop for 10–30 minutes before serving.
The ‘pots’ for pots de crème au chocolat are not a requirement for making this dark chocolate cream. The dessert may very well be made in ramekins and it will taste every bit as good.
In taste and texture the baked cream resembles a dark chocolate truffle which is why a small ‘pot’ goes a long way. However the special charm of the dessert is in the tubby little lidded ceramic ‘pots’ in which it traditionally is baked.
I chose to use semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate, so that the chocolate flavor would really punch through. This provided the perfect balance of chocolate to make the whole frosting completely “milk chocolate” in flavor.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!