A few weeks ago, mom and I were asked to prepare dessert for a very special Christmas dinner. The dessert had to appeal to adults and kids and needed to be versatile enough that we could create at least one variation for non-chocolate lovers. We searched Pinterest, Googled, dug through our favorite websites and family go-to recipes before dreaming up this little beauty.
No-Bake Mini-Chocolate Cheesecakes are pretty much fool proof and they’re extremely versatile! You want a peppermint cheesecake layer? Swap out peppermint baking chips for dark chocolate in the first layer. Easy peasy. This can also be made as a full-sized cheesecake. Just bake your brownie layer in a springform pan and layer the cheesecake filling.
If you’re intimidated by using “molds” for the filling, just use cupcake tins. Line the tins with cupcake papers. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of brownie batter into the cups and bake. After they’ve cooled, pipe in the cheesecake filling and chill.
P.S. As a rule, I try not to apologize for my bad photography skills or baking mishaps, but yes, I did notice the green sprinkle in my sloppy plate garnish. And, yes, I did notice that we put the whipped cream on a little prematurely so it’s running down the cake. Let’s just all pretend that we don’t see it, okay? Thanks. 🙂
No-Bake Layered Mini-Chocolate Cheesecakes
Yield: 12 servings
MAKE BROWNIE BASE (recipe courtesy of Nestle):
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Combine granulated sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out 10 to 12 rounds.
Cut 12 4” x 10” wax paper strips. Wrap each brownie round with wax paper, making a “form” to hold your filling. Place on a large baking sheet and set aside.
PREPARE FILLING (adapted from Cooking Classy):
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
- 4 ounces white baking chocolate
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 16 Tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
Melt dark chocolate according to directions listed on package (I use
a double broiler method), then remove from heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip 1 ¼ cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form, set aside in refrigerator.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, whip 8 ounces of cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Mix in 5 Tablespoons powdered sugar. Stir in chocolate then fold in whipped cream.
Put filling in piping bag and pipe over brownie layers and chill while you prepare second layer.
Repeat process with the white chocolate and remaining ingredients. Pipe white chocolate filling on top of dark chocolate layer. Chill for at least 2 hours before removing wax paper. NOTE: You may need to run a knife along the edge of the filling as you remove the paper.
Just before serving, top with whipped cream and garnish with festive sprinkles!