I’m the first to admit that cakes aren’t my dessert strong point. That’s why I love this cheesecake – by name it’s a cake but it’s so simple that you’d probably be able to whip it up even after a few glasses of Shiraz. I based this recipe on a magazine clipping but made a few adaptations, such as removing the added sugar, to turn the naughtiness into nice. And it can be adapted further – by replacing the hazelnuts with almonds, walnuts, macadamias or pecans.
This recipe makes 2-4 individual cakes for single servings – depending on the size of your mini oven proof bowls or ramekins. If you like you can double the quantities here and make a full cake in one baking tin. Note that the chilling time requires you to start this recipe at least 4 hours ahead of serving.
- Individual serving size oven proof ramekin bowls (ideally 3-4cm in depth)
- 300g cream cheese
- 1/2 cup plain natural yogurt
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 50g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa, ideally 85%)
- 1/2 cup wholemeal flour or rolled oats (or a mixture of both)
- 50g toasted hazelnuts (or an alternative type of nut)
- Sweet tooth? Include a natural sweetener such as xylitol
Choosing your dark chocolate
If you’re keen to really minimise the sugar content then use a dark chocolate with little or no added sugar. Here are my recommendations:
- Loving Earth organic 72% dark coconut bars (sweetened with evaporated coconut nectar) – 19.5g sugars per 100g. See their range of products, all hand-made in Melbourne, here.
- Lindt Excellence 85% extra dark – only 13.1g sugars per 100g (the 70% version has 28g per 100g).
- Green & Blacks organic 70% dark – 28.9g sugars per 100g.
Steps to prepare
1. The crunchy base
- Lightly grease your ramekins (or cake tin) with butter.
- Place the butter, flour/rolled oats and optional sweetener in a bowl.
- Gradually crumble using your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb like consistency.
- Evenly spread the crumble within your bowls and chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
- In the meantime pre-heat the oven to 160C.
- Bake the crunchy bases in the oven for 15-20 minutes. And then set aside to cool.
2. The choco-cheese filling
- Add the hazelnuts to the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the skin can be easily removed.
- Peel the skin and then lightly crush the nuts, ideally in a pestle and mortar.
- Melt the dark chocolate, reserving 20-50g for topping at the end.
- Add the cream cheese and yoghurt to a bowl and beat together until even.
- Fold in the melted chocolate and most of the hazelnuts (keep a few nuts for the topping).
3. Bringing it all together
- Using a spatula spread the choco-cheese mixture over the cooled crunchy base.
- Finish with shavings of the reserved chocolate and the remaining nuts.
- Cover each mini cheesecake and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
I mentioned at the start of this post that you could probably whip up this recipe even after a few glasses of Shiraz. While that’s true I’m not promising the end presentation will be as refined. Indeed I decorated my cheesecakes after a few wines. The end result is below – I sure you’ll agree that photogenic is not the first word that comes to mind. But rest assured it was very tasty…….
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