Mini Black-Bottom Cheesecakes
- ACTIVE: 20 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: makes 12 tarts
F&W's Grace Parisi made several versions of these brilliant little jam–topped cheesecakes, substituting fromage blanc and other tangy soft cheeses for the usual sour cream. Some versions were sweeter, others more tart; all were delicious. In these single-serving desserts from Parisi, the rich and creamy cheesecakes are baked atop a chocolate-wafer base. You don't need any special equipment to make them—just a muffin tin and foil liners.
- Vegetable oil spray
- 24 plain chocolate wafer cookies, preferably Nabisco
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup fromage blanc (6 ounces), at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves, warmed
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups and spray the cups with vegetable oil spray. In a food processor, crush the chocolate wafer cookies. Add the butter and process until fine crumbs form. Spoon the chocolate cookie crumbs into the prepared baking cups and press with the bottom of a glass to compact. Bake for 5 minutes, or until almost set. Leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the fromage blanc, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the baking cups, filling them three-quarters full.
- Bake the cheesecakes for 15 minutes, or until slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and spread 1 teaspoon of the warmed raspberry preserves on top of each cheesecake. Transfer the muffin tin to the freezer and chill the cheesecakes until set, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecakes from the pan and peel off the foil baking cups. Transfer the cheesecakes to a platter and serve.
A lightly sweet Champagne.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.