It’s St. Valentine’s Day! And we from May the Cheese Be With You are celebrating! With chocolate. And cheese.
Let me tell you about my love-hate relationship with chocolate. Chocolate and I, we go way back, and our relationship is worthy of study. Freud would be dancing a little jig (please take a second to picture this in your mind). He’d be fascinated. Probably even confused. Possibly flummoxed. To me, chocolate is like that friend whom you get along with just swell, and who will then stab you – nay, hit you with a pickaxe – in the back for no apparent reason whatsoever. You’ll be having a jolly ol’ time, and then suddenly they’ll turn into a man-eating, raging koala. (Don’t ask me why I said koala just now – my mind works in mysterious ways.)
So, chocolate. I love chocolate. I adore chocolate. Chocolate has all the knowledge. I will form a cult around chocolate, shave my head and keep a small chocolate altar with fresh flowers. But chocolate is a vengeful deity. Short of human sacrifice, which is frowned upon in most modern societies, there really is nothing I can do to appease it. The wrath of chocolate expresses itself through knee-buckling migraines that will knock me out for hours at a time. But here is the snag: This only happens every so often. So my eating chocolate is basically like poking a sleeping dragon in the eye. A chocolate dragon, of course. Rash, stupid, and exhilarating – for who would not wish to see a dragon dancing its anger on the wind of morning?
Damn you, chocolate, you sexy beast! Damn you to hell.
To showcase the confounding, contradictory beauty that is chocolate, I give you: The Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites. And I’m throwing in my raspberry curd recipe for free.
You know you love me.
Chocolate Cheesecake Bites with Raspberry Curd
The cheesecake is originally from Love and Olive Oil, who makes the most awesome of recipes.
Servings: 24 cheesecake bites
Prep time: about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, plus 6 hours refrigerating
You will need:
For the cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cups (aprox. 350gr) vanilla wafers, crumbled
- 6 tablespoons (90gr) + 1/4 cup (aprox. 60gr) butter, melted
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons + 1/2 cup (125gr) unsweetened cocoa powder (separated)
- 8oz, or 250gr cream cheese
- 14 oz, or 400gr sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 500gr semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup (250ml) whipping cream
For the curd
- 1 1/2 cups (300gr) fresh raspberries
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
To begin with, preheat your oven to medium-high, and paper-line a muffin tin.
Combine the vanilla wafer crumbs with the powdered sugar and the first 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Now add the 6 tablespoons melted butter, and mash it up. Press about 1 1/2 teaspoons of this into each cup, making sure it covers the bottom well.
Now turn to the left over 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 melted butter, and mix those. Beat in the cream cheese until fully combined, then add the sweetened condensed milk. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
If sugar-overdose had a face, this is what it would look like. Sheer beauty.
Spoon the (very liquid!) batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes, or until nice and set. The tops will be all puffy, but they will collapse as it cools.
Meanwhile, place your chocolate in a bowl and pour the cream over it. Heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, remove, stir well, heat another 30 seconds, remove, stir. You get the picture. Repeat until you get the smooth consistency which can only be described as chocolatey. I could spoon this stuff straight out of the bowl.
OK, I did spoon this straight out of the bowl.
Spread over cooled cheesecake and allow to harden while you turn your attention elsewhere.
Press your lovely, precious raspberries through a fine mesh strainer until they look like this:
They should yield about 1 cup of juice. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then pour in the egg yolks. Add the juice last. Cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened. It will thicken more as it cools. Stir permanently, or the heat will not spread evenly and you will end up with cooked blobs of egg floating around in your curd. Which, in case you were wondering, is not what we are going for.
Allow to cool completely.
Spoon 1 or 2 teaspoons of this glorious stuff on your cheesecakes, and place them in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or ideally over night.