Monday, February 11, 2013
Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes
This Thursday will be my first Valentine's Day as a single lady in quite a few years. I know a lot of people who aren't in a relationship on this day get bummed out, but seriously, don't. Just don't. Celebrating Valentine's Day as a single person can be equally, if not more fun. Take the money you would have spent on a gift for your significant other and treat yo self to a fancy ass bottle of wine and some chocolate. Drink the bottle, eat all the chocolate, and revel in the fact that you don't have to share a single sip or bite.
Whether you're single or coupled-up this Valentine's Day, you should definitely make these little cheesecakes to celebrate. They're super easy to whip up, and look and taste like you put in way more effort than you actually did. Plus, if you have any Valentine's Day related rage to work out, you get to violently pulverize Teddy Grahams in a food processor to create the crust, which feels fantastically cathartic.
I'm going to keep this short today, because I'm writing this while watching the Grammy's. Specifically, I'm watching that guy from "Fun" bop around in skinny capri pants. Are those a thing for men now? If so, I probably have many single lady Valentine's Days ahead of me, because that is SO not cute.
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups chocolate Teddy Grahams crumbs (Pulverize whole Teddy Grahams in a food processor until you have 1 1/4 cups of crumbs. A 10 ounce box is enough to get this amount, with some left over for snacking!)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon black or dutch cocoa powder (totally optional - I added this because I wanted an extra punch of chocolate flavor in the crust)
For the filling:
20 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons red food coloring
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 16 foil liners.
Combine the crust ingredients in a medium bowl, until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Place a slightly heaping tablespoon of crust in each prepared liner. Firmly press crust into each liner. You can use your fingers for this, OR just spray the bottom of a shot glass with non-stick spray, and use it to pack the crumbs down.
In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add in sugar and cocoa powder until evenly combined and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and food coloring. Beat in eggs one by one until thoroughly incorporated. Evenly divide batter among cupcake liners, almost to the top of each liner. (You may have a little bit of leftover batter. You can bake it in a ramekin if you want, or just throw it away.) Gently shake each pan back and forth to smooth the batter in each liner out.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the center. Cool cheesecakes for 15 minutes (the centers will sink slightly as they cool.) Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
To make the whipped cream, place a medium bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. Pour the heavy cream and the powdered sugar into the chilled bowl. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff (about 3 minutes.) Top chilled cheesecakes with whipped cream and sprinkles. I used an Ateco 849 tip to pipe the whipped cream.
Source: Adapted from Pillsbury