Friday, 6 February 2015

Mini Black Forest Cheesecakes (Wheat Free)

As I mentioned in my last post, Sunday just passed was my 482nd birthday, give or take, and I celebrated it in true Sweetie Pie style: with lots of different kinds of cake. I already wrote about my birthday strawberry cream gateau, so today I'm writing about my latest cheesecake experiment: the black forest cheesecake.

The idea for this just sprung into my mind when I was trying to devise some nice Valentine desserts, and also I just like merging dessert ideas. This one is fairly simple: chocolate biscuit base, vanilla filling with cherry jam, topped off with chocolate glaze and a fresh cherry.

 I was originally thinking I'd put glacé cherries and cream swirls on top, to make it extra retro kitschy, but fresh berries were on offer in Dunnes stores so I bought a pack of strawberries and cherries for a fiver. Next time I make these, I'll use glacé cherries; and I will also not take them out of the oven five minutes early (whoops....)

Yes, these sunk a little bit in the middle, unfortunately. I removed the tray from the oven a few minutes too early and it shocked the mixture. But I fixed it with chocolate glaze and a cherry, in the true spirit of my mother's teaching, who told me as a child to fix sunken cakes by "covering them in custard".

The chocolate glaze was also a little firm, in retrospect. I should have used butter in addition to sunflower oil; I have included the altered glaze recipe. All in all, there are many ways I could have made these even more awesome than they already are.

For 12 muffin case sized cheesecakes

For the base:
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) icing sugar
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) cocoa powder

For the cheesecake mixture:
  • 8 ounces (225 grammes) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
  • 1 medium eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) whipping cream, or plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) vanilla essence, or the seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 fluid ounces (180 millilitres) cherry jam, or mixed fruit jam

For decoration:
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) dark chocolate
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) butter
  • 12 fresh or glacé (candied) cherries


  • Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F, Gas Mk.2, or very moderate). Line a 12 indent muffin tin with large cake cases (muffin cases).
  • Make the base by mixing the butter and icing sugar together with a wooden spoon, then work in the flour and cocoa until it becomes crumbly. Divide the crumble between the 12 cases and press down gently with the back of a teaspoon.
  • Prepare the cheesecake filling using this recipe, omitting the coconut milk, replacing the lime zest and juice with the whipping cream (or yogurt), and adding the vanilla with the cheese mixture before mixing with the egg whites.
  • Put a tablespoon of cherry jam in the centre of each cake atop the biscuit base, and then divide the mixture between the cases, making sure to cover the cherry jam.
  • Bake the cakes in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled, make the topping by melting the chocolate, butter and oil in a bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave for 1 minutes intervals on the "Defrost" setting. Once melted, pour about 2 teaspoons of the topping onto each cake. Swirl the cake around the coat the entire surface.
  • Put a cherry on the top of each cake, sitting it into the chocolate. Put in the fridge to cool and set for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

This is actually a recipe I hope to make a how-to video of sometime soon, so keep your eyes peeled! I like the daintiness of the cherry on top, but overall the dessert is quite tasty.

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