Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Cheesecake

When I heard we were having a "mexican fiesta" potluck for a co-worker's upcoming wedding, I decided that I'd get creative. My cheesecakes usually go over pretty well at work (pumpkin pie cheesecakes for Thanksgiving, Red Velvet cheesecakes for Valentines Day), so I thought I'd try to figure out something mexican-inspired. I immediately started mentally going through my pantry and trying to figure out what I could make. Mini-cheesecakes are pretty easy to make, and I need to use some of the chili powder I was just given. Good excuse, right? Yeah, I thought so too. 

This particular recipe isn't really derived from any particular recipe, just a basic cheesecake recipe that I had adapted to my needs. I'm a pretty adaptable person. Is that even a word..? It doesn't matter. My crust is, once again, a crust of improvisation (I thought I had Nilla wafers still, but they MAGICALLY disappeared *cough cough HUBBY cough cough*), but I did have some gingersnaps and Oreo's. Mexican chocolate is spicy, gingersnaps are spicy. Oreo's are chocolate, mexican chocolate is.. well.. chocolate. It all works out perfectly. I made a "half batch" to test them out and see what needed to be changed (I'll post the feedback I get tomorrow at work later), but even a half batch filled my 24 cup mini-cupcake pan, plus two regular size cupcake liners, all VERY full. Recipe time! Remember, this is for the "half batch". Amendments will come later if need be. 


1/2 cup gingersnap cookies (about 10)
1/2 cup Oreo cookies (about 8)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp melted butter

1 1/2 pkgs (12oz total) softened cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
3/8 cup cocoa powder (I just did a 1/4 cup, then half of another)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp Kahlua
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder


Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Line 24 mini muffin cups and 2 regular muffin cups.

If you have a nifty mixer (like I don't), you can cream the cream cheese before you add anything else in. I'm sure that this would make it a lot easier to handle, but I just used a little extra elbow grease is all. Not to be confused with butter, wrong kind of grease. Just wanted to be clear. Anyways. Mix everything together except the eggs. Once well combined, add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until combined. If you mix too much, you'll wind up with too much air the cheesecake, or so I've heard. I really couldn't tell you the difference myself since I don't actually EAT cheesecake, but I try to please the people who DO eat it. 

Place a bit of crust mixture in the bottom of each cup, just enough to make it so that when pressed down in the bottom, you can't see the bottom of the liner anymore. Too much crust = not enough filling, especially in the mini cheesecakes! Once the crust is pressed down in each cup, add roughly a tablespoon of filling to each mini cup, until it is full, just shy of the top of the cup, fill the larger cups up to almost the top as well. Bake the mini cups for 15 minutes, or until set, and the larger cups for 20-25 minutes, or again, until set. 

The mini's

The regular's

I still haven't figured out how to not have the tops sink in quite so much on me, but I don't think it affects the taste any. If it does, there at least haven't been any complaints. 

Once I've got some feedback from co-workers tomorrow, I'll post the pro's and con's, and make any changes needed. Bon appetit!


Crust is perfectly crunchy, not soggy.
Need a shot of Kahlua to go with.

Yep, that about sums it up. One person said that it would stand up to more chili powder, if you're so inclined, but I don't think I want to kill the people here that aren't as much of a spice fan, and they said it was perfect. All in all? Good reviews!

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