The very last time I got to see my Grammies she was so happy that us girls (granddaughters) were copying her recipes. She talked a lot about a favorite dessert she liked to make for the dinners she cooked for her church. As the church cook she was feeding 25-100 a few times a week during the busy season (April-Oct). She checked with me many times to make sure I didn't forget to copy her recipe for miniature chocolate cheesecakes with raspberry sauce. When Stephanie announced that this month's Blog Party was cocktail-sized desserts, I thought Grammies' recipe would be a perfect submission. This was the first time I made it, and I'm telling you, it gave me a whole new appreciation for how hard she worked feeding the masses. I quadrupled the recipe and made it in 2 separate batches. To feed 100 she would have had to times the recipe by 12 and make it in 6 batches. I kept thinking, "Grammies, you are amazing!" And, "How did she do it?" But these are so delicious and such a hit that they are definitely worth the time and effort.
Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes*
3/4 c. chocolate graham crackers, crushed
3Tbsp. baker's sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 lb. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. baker's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (white) actually, its clear
3 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet bakers choloate (Ghirardelli) melted and cooled
1/4 c. whipping cream
2 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet bakers chocolate (Ghirardelli), grated
2 c. frozen raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. lemon juice
*These are to be made in special mini-cheesecake pans. They are springform pans. About a week or so ago I was over at Culinary in the Desert and saw some new aluminum cupcake tins. They come in different shapes like stars and hearts. I used the hearts for the cheesecakes. A doubled batch makes about 18 heart-shaped cheesecakes w/ a little batter leftover. Not sure how many cheesecakes in mini-cheesecake pans a single recipe would make. If you quadruple the recipe like I did and make 36 heart shaped cheesecakes, only make one batch raspberry puree. It's plenty and you'll still have some leftover to drizzle over ice cream or freeze for future use.
Place ingredients in small bowl and mix well. Place 1 level Tbsp. (1 1/2 for heart shapes) on bottom of each cup and press down.
Use a food processor or mixer to cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until no lumps remain. Add cooled chocolate to mixture and blend. Pour into the mini-cheesecake cups, almost full (more than 3/4 but not to brim). Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 18 minutes; remove and put on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Remove cheesecakes from pan. Cool completely. They are not as fragile as they look, but do handle carefully.
Bring whipping cream to a boil, add grated chocolate (the grating can be done ahead of time), then whisk until smooth. Cool slightly. Put eacj cheesecake on plate and put a dab of topping in the center. Cover and refrigerate.
(can be made ahead) Place ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, then add lemon juice. Place in blender and blend until liquefied. Strain through fine seive (to remove seeds) then refrigerate. Garnish plates with puree. Keeps well refrigerated. Makes 2 1/2 c. of puree.
Tenderberry Mocktail recipe is from www.knowyourcocktails.com