The Winner is…Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake!

This is without exception the best thing to emerge from my tiny kitchen this year. Cheesecake has been on my baking wish list nearly all year. It happened tonight. It was amazing. OMG.

Do not plan to make this on a night when willpower is desired. Willpower will be kicked, shoved, and slammed out of the kitchen. Enjoy these heartily and without any guilt. You deserve it!

I reviewed several recipes before crafting one based on what I had in my kitchen and what I wanted the cheesecake to taste link. Recipe inspired by and adapted from The Weekend Gourmande, Baking Bites, and From One Cook to Another.

The cheesecake happened now because Cody and I are planning to cook up a homemade dinner together tomorrow and I wanted to have a fancy dessert. I thought about cheesecake but it has to be made at least several hours to a day in advance. Great way to spend an evening home alone! I cannot confirm or deny whether I ate an entire mini cheesecake before chilling. Ok. I did it. It was the best thing I’ve eaten. The end.

Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (or enough to make wells for all the batter)
2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
Extra graham cracker sheets…just in case

Filling
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 tbs vanilla yogurt
Juice of one lemon
Zest from 1/2 of one lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 330. Combine crust ingredients, press into generously greased muffin wells. For three wells, I made crusts that filled the well so the cheesecake would pop out easily. For a fourth well, I put crumbs only on the bottom of the well. Once batter was ready, I had 2-3 wells worth of batter beyond what I had prepared. I grabbed a couple more sheets of graham crackers and just broke them into shards and put them in the extra wells. I sprayed the shards (we are talking pieces up to 1/2 inch in size) with baking spray before adding filling.

Beat filling ingredients (except chocolate) till combined. I used a whisk for most of this, it was tiring. If you have a mixer, I recommend using it. Gently fold in chocolate. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin wells. Cakes will puff slightly in the oven but return to pre-baking height after cooling.

Bake about 25 minutes until set on the edges and center still slightly jiggly. Cool on the counter completely. Slide a knife around the edges of the wells then invert on to a wax paper covered cooling rack. Transfer to air tight container and chill.

Pictures: See slideshow for everything from batter prep (note that I do not have a mixer or even a silicone spatula–this was all with a¬†whisk and wooden spoon), to muffin tin prep, to inverted cheesecakes, to cheesecake success, to potential sampling of a “tiny piece” of cheesecake. Yeah right. Tiny.

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