Chocolate Cheesecakes with California Figs & Port
One of the best ways to plan for a special dinner is to serve mini cheesecakes. Mini Chocolate Cheesecake with Figs are easy to make ahead.
Servings 12 mini-cheesecakes
- 1/2 cup chocolate wafer cookies finely chopped
- 1/3 cup walnuts finely chopped
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1 1/2 cups Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed
- 1/2 cup port
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- 2 tbsp water
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs large
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 325°. Line 12 (2 3/4-inch) muffin cups with paper cups.
- In small bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, nuts and melted butter. Spoon about 1 tablespoon crumb mixture into bottom of each cup, dividing evenly; press to an even layer. Bake in middle of oven for 5 to 8 minutes, till fragrant. Remove from oven.
- Cut about 1/2 cup of the figs into 36 thin, lengthwise slices. Place in small heatproof container with lid; set aside. In small saucepan, bring port and sugar to a simmer over medium heat and stir for 1 minute to form a clear syrup. Pour 1/2 cup of the syrup over sliced figs. Cool; cover and chill until serving time. Finely chop remaining 1 cup figs and add to saucepan with remaining syrup. Return to heat and simmer, stirring often, until liquid evaporates. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of warm fig mixture over crust in each cup, dividing evenly. With back of oiled spoon, press to an even layer.
- Place chocolate and water in microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave oven on 50% power for 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sour cream, cocoa powder and vanilla. Beat in melted chocolate. Spoon batter over fig layer in cups.
- Bake in middle of oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until just set. Cool in pan on rack. Chill for 6 hours or up to 2 days.
- To serve, arrange 3 slices of reserved figs (in port syrup) on each cake; drizzle each with about 1/2 teaspoon syrup.
*Variation: Instead of port, use ½ cup raspberry juice blend such as cranberry-raspberry or apple-cranberry. Photo: David Campbell