Friday, November 29, 2013

Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Amanda requested chocolate cheesecake and I'm glad she did! I have to say these were outrageous! I enjoyed them so I was happy to share at dinner out with the girls to welcome Amanda's visit from Berkeley. One day we will have to visit!

I made half of them with foil liners and and the other half with paper liners just to compare. They both came out great. They both tasted the same and there was only one visual difference. All of these pictures are cupcakes made with foil liners because they are a bit more pretty around the edges. The foil creates deeper, defined edges to give that Reese's peanut butter cup look. But if you only have paper liners, they still look very appetizing.

I used my usual chocolate ganache recipe and just whipped it to add volume and piped it on top for the completed look. I used dark bittersweet chocolate (60%) for the ganache just so these aren't overly sweet.

I'm happy this recipe makes quite a few cupcakes, 26 to be exact. I had enough to share on Thanksgiving with my family, brother, and sister-in-law. And now allow me to post way too many pictures just because I couldn't choose which to edit out. Make these, and enjoy!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Yield: 26 cupcakes

1 cup crushed graham crackers (about 9 graham crackers)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter, melted
24 foil or paper cupcake liners

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt the 2 cups (12 ounces) of semisweet chocolate chips in a glass bowl or glass measuring cup in the microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Set aside to cool.

Use a food processor or blender to crush graham crackers. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cocoa; stir in butter. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with 24 cupcake liners. Press 1 tablespoon of crust mixture onto the bottom of each liner. Remember that you will have 2 tablespoons of mixture left for two extra cupcakes. Set aside.

Heat oven to 300° F

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in melted chocolate. Add eggs one at a time; beat on low speed just until combined.Gradually stir in milk and vanilla. Pour 1/4 cup of filling into each cupcake liner.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the center does not look wet. Turn off oven and open oven door to slowly cool cheesecake for 20-30 minutes, which will prevent cracks. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.  Once cool, place in the refrigerator to chill. Remove cupcake liners after chilled.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat.  Once simmering, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in small circular motions until a smooth ganache has formed.  Whisk in the butter until completely incorporated.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature until slightly thickened for piping onto the cheesecakes.  (Speed this process in the refrigerator or freezer until chilled)  Once the ganache has thickened and completely cooled, beat with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk head attachment. Whisk until the chocolate is whipped. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cheesecakes.

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