Friday, February 9, 2018

Valentine's Day Cheesecake Hearts

Impress your Valentine with one of these simple yet so delicious heart-shaped cheesecakes
Made with LOVE
LOVE is in the air. Can you feel it too?!? 
Just look at this beautiful and crazy-delicious cheesecake heart, and tell me. 
Can you feel the butterflies in your stomach, and the leap in your heart at the sight of it? How about that tingly feeling on the tip of your tongue, and the innermost desire to lick the whipped cream right off the top, and take a big bite. To taste and savor the luscious creamy center, the chocolate crust, and the sweet and juicy strawberry. All in one amazing bite.
You will fall in love too with this recipe. I promise!

This cupid-inspired dessert has all you love about cheesecake. The buttery and crumbly crust. Sweet but not too sweet, with a touch of chocolate flavor. The rich, velvety, light but perfectly dense creamy middle. 
And when you add whipped cream on top, you know you are in for a treat. I guess anything (or most things) taste better covered in whipped cream.

For the crust, you can use your favorite cheesecake crust. You can use regular graham cracker, or chocolate flavor. You can use Oreos (minus the cream filling), vanilla wafers or tea biscuits. You can make it plain or add some cocoa powder to add a little chocolaty flavor to it, like I did. 
As usual you need to add melted butter and a little sugar. I know, the cookies are already plenty sweet, but the extra sugar helps to keep the crust together when baking. 
I do recommend using silicone molds or  a mini cheesecake pan (with individual removable bottoms). If you don't have either, you should use paper liner to make it easy to remove them from the muffin cups. 
Ready to try it out?! Here is my step-by-step, simple recipe.


YIELD: 6 servings
  1. For the crust:
    • 4  graham crackers sheets (2.2 oz,  60 gr)
    • 1/4 cup (20 gr) of unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoons (30 gr) of sugar
    • 3 tablespoons (40 gr) of butter, melted
    For the filling:
    • 8 oz (225 gr) of regular cream cheese, softened (leave at room temperature for about 1 hour) 
    • 1/4 cup (50 gr) of sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of whipping cream
    • 1 egg

    For the top: 
    • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon of milk powder (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
    • 3 strawberries (cut in half)


TIME: 15 minutes to prepare, plus 25 minutes to bake, plus 1 hour at least to refrigerate
    Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator about one hour before starting with the recipe, to soften it.
    Preheat the oven to 350° F (175°C).
    Place the graham crackers or cookies in a zipper bag and crush them with a roller (or anything else that's not going to break!). You can also place in a food processor and blend until crumbly.
    Add the cocoa powder, sugar and melted butter. Mix.

    Divide evenly into 6 silicone muffin molds (heart-shaped or round). You can use a mini cheesecake pan (with removable bottom) or paper liners on tin muffin molds.
    Press down firmly with a spoon.

    And bake for 5 minutes
    In a different bowl, mix the cream cheese with the sugar until soft and fluffy.
    Add the vanilla extract,  salt and whipping cream, and mix.
    Add the egg and mix some more.
    Divide into the 6 prepared muffin cups.
     And bake for 20 minutes until set. Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and let the cheesecakes in there for 15 minutes. Let them cool at room temperature, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Note: the longer you wait the easier it is to remove from the mold.
    Before serving whip up the whipping cream with the powered sugar. Add the milk power if you'd like. It helps stabilize the whipping cream, and last longer. Top each cheesecake with  half strawberry. If you like cut it in a heart shaped with a cookie cutter.

    And decorate around it with whipped cream.

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