From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Last week I came across a recipe for a 3 ingredient cake in Food and Wine magazine. It had been developed for them by Grace Parisi. The recipe was for an icebox cheesecake and as soon as I saw it, I knew I'd have to give it a try. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. In order to make it less one-note, I added a bit of almond extract, and, because I'm involved in an on-going war with molded desserts, I decided to use some gelatin to insure the cake would leave the comfort of its pan and my refrigerator when the time came. I must also admit to using a few upscale ingredients as well. I replaced one brick of cream cheese with an equal weight of mascarpone and decided this would be the perfect place to use the last of the Ghiradelli chocolate syrup that had been sitting in my pantry for several months. Did, did and done! A whim caused me to change the form of the cake. I've had an individual cheesecake pan for several years now, but never used it, and I thought this would be a perfect time to give it a try. While the cake comes together in minutes, it sits for hours, so plan to make this the day before you serve it. Even with gelatin, it needs a lot of time to set. I had fun with this recipe. I hope you'll give it a try. Here's the recipe.
Individual No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecakes...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Grace Parisi
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup chocolate syrup (i.e. Hershey or Ghiradelli)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
35 (1 package) Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1) Place gelatin in a 2-cup bowl or measuring cup. Cover with 1/4 cup boiling water and stir constantly until gelatin is completely dissolved. Gradually add chocolate syrup, whisking until perfectly smooth. Sir in almond extract. Set aside.
2) Lightly grease interiors of 6 large muffin cups or 6 individual cheesecake molds. Line each cup with enough plastic wrap to extend over all sides by about 2 inches.
3) Set aside 18 wafer cookies. Place remainder in a plastic zip-lock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into coarse crumbs.
4) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese at high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour in chocolate syrup mixture and beat the chocolate cream for 2 minutes longer.
5) Place 1 cookie in bottom of each cup or mold. Spoon about 1/3 cup of chocolate cream mixture over each. Top with another cookie and another 1/3 cup chocolate cream. Place a final wafer on top of each cheesecake. Fold plastic wrap over top of each cake. Lightly tap pan once or twice on a work surface. Refrigerate cakes for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.
6) Peel back plastic wrap and invert cakes onto dessert dishes. Press cookie crumbs onto sides of cakes, brushing away excess from plate. Yield: 6 servings.
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