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from the kitchen: Espresso Cheesecake


Still debating on what to make for dessert this Christmas? We've got the perfect recipe for you, just in the nick of time! These delectable mini espresso cheesecakes combine two of the world's greatest things - coffee and cheesecake. The bitter flavor of the coffee combined with the rich and creamy cake is almost like having a café latte on a plate.


Espresso Cheesecake

serves 6

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 pound cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1/3 cup crème fraîche

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup brewed espresso, at room temperature

2 tablespoons ground instant espresso

1 teaspoon salt

To prepare the crusts:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the graham cracker crumbs with the butter. Distribute the graham cracker crumbs equally among six greased 4 x 2-inch ring molds. Place the ring molds on a baking sheet.

Tamp down the crust, using the bottom of a glass until firm and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until browned on the edges. Remove the crusts from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

To prepare the filling:

Place the sugar and cream cheese in the mixing bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until smooth on medium speed and add the eggs, cornstarch, vanilla bean, crème fraîche, cream, brewed espresso, instant espresso and salt. Mix until smooth.

Pour room temperature mixture into the ring molds and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. The filling can be made up to 1 day ahead.

To serve:

Set each cheesecake on a plate and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs around and on top of each of the cakes. Add a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

For more recipes, grab a copy of our Plats du Jour cookbook! It's available at the girl & the fig in Sonoma, and online at www.girlfigstore.com.


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