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Chocolate Cheesecake Pots

Chocolate Cheesecake Pots

This recipe started as a way of using up some leftovers – I had half a tub of mascarpone and half a pot of double cream left in the fridge from some other meals I’d made, and wanted to make sure they got used, and, with a few bits and pieces added, cheesecake seemed the obvious answer.

Using up leftovers is, as we are increasingly reminded, important in two respects. Firstly, it saves money, clearly, buying food and then throwing it away is not fiscally prudent, and secondly, throwing away food is bad for the environment. When I talk about leftovers, I guess there are two meanings – food you’ve cooked too much of, and, like here, leftover ingredients where perhaps you didn’t need a whole tub of mascarpone for the recipe you had bought it for. Perhaps food you have cooked too much of is easier to deal with – you’ve roasted a chicken, it’s not all been eaten, so you can use leftover meat in sandwiches, stir-fries and the like. Made too much bolognese? Reheat it the next day, or freeze it for another time. But it can be more difficult not to waste leftover ingredients, particularly if your concern is saving money, because usually you’ll need to add more to them, which of course, means further expenditure. Forward planning is one option, as I increasingly try to do with food, but the fact we buy most things in packages of certain sizes means it’s likely something will often be leftover, and here we are back to my cream and mascarpone.

These cheesecake pots were good, more than good in fact, and maybe now the cream and cheese will be purchased especially for them, but all I added to them were ingredients I had in the house anyway – and nothing unusual, nothing that the average home baker, probably, wouldn’t have in their own cupboards. Of course, as I’ve touched on, the addition of chocolate and other bits means this is obviously more expensive than throwing away half a tub of cheese and a dribble of cream, which don’t freeze particularly well, but why not indulge, and remind yourself you’re doing the planet a favour too?

You’ll also need the pots, and this amount (very nearly, and see picture for evidence) filled 4 ramekins about 4cm deep and 7cm in diameter. (Incidentally, I didn’t go out and buy ramekins, but bought Gu Hot Chocolate Souffles which come in ramekins, and wholeheartedly encourage you to do the same. Indeed, I have stacks of ramekins and other little pots that arrived with a dessert already inside them!)

Chocolate Cheesecake Pots (makes 4)

  • 85g bourbon chocolate biscuits (or any biscuits really, perhaps with a little cocoa added if not chocolate ones)
  • 30g butter
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 100g good dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon hot water

Blitz the biscuits to fine crumbs in a mini-chopper or processor, or if you’re having a bad day, seal them into a freezer bag and pulverise them with a rolling pin. Melt the butter gently in a saucepan, then, off the heat, stir in the biscuit crumbs. Divide the buttery crumbs between the ramekins and press down with your fingers to form a firm-ish base, then whack them into the freezer to harden a little while you get on with the rest of it.

Break the chocolate into pieces, and then melt gently in a bowl over simmering water. (Or, melt, very carefully, in the microwave, say in twenty second blasts on half power, and remebering that chocolate likes to play tricks on you by keeping its shape when melted, so stirring in between each nuking.)

In one bowl, beat the mascarpone, with an electric hand whisk, until light and smooth. Put to one side.

In another bowl, whip the cream to somewhere between soft and firm peaks, but don’t overdo it. Quickly beat in the icing sugar and the cocoa-water paste, until evenly combined. Then gently fold in the melted chocolate, until just combined and a consistent colour all the way through.

Finally, quickly beat the mascarpone into the cream-and-chocolate mix. Now, I know we’ve just folded in the chocolate, but I think quick and rough is the order of the day when mixing in the mascarpone, as you want to make sure that everything is well mixed rather than having lumps of cheese, so I would return to beating here.

Remove the ramekins from the freezer and divide the cheesecake mix between them, pushing down gently with a silicone spatula to ensure you don’t leave a gap between cheesecake and base, although this is easier said than done with these small pots, and since you’ll be eating them from the pot with a spoon, it doesn’t matter too much.

Stick the pots back in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how eager you are to eat these, so they set a little, and then remove to the fridge to store, and indeed leave at least half an hour before you tuck in anyway, just in case they’ve begun to freeze.

 

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  1. October 2, 2009 at 8:35 am

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