This Valentine’s Day treat is for sharing with a special someone. In this house, cheesecake is always appreciated and in the continuing theme of spring cleaning there was a small tub that needed a plan and the last of the Truffettes de France to enjoy.
If life doesn’t include enough time to start the cheesecake from scratch there is always the option of buying a six inch cheesecake from the grocery store and starting from there. You would like, after all, to also be enjoying the evening and not feeling your eyes drooping by dessert.
1/2 cup cookies crumbs ( 10 whipped shortbread )
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 T. melted butter
8 ounces cream cheese (227g tub in Canada)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. flour
3 Tbsp. sour cream
7-10 Truffettes de France
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
Combine the cookies, sugar and melted butter is a small bowl and mix well. I used homemade whipped pecan shortbread cookies because they were available but any kind of relatively plain cookies will do: digestive, gingersnaps, graham wafers, social tea or something similar.
Transfer the crumble mixture to a six inch spring form pan and firmly push it into a flat layer. A glass with a level bottom and straight sides can help get the corners even with the middle section.
Bake for 7 – 10 minutes before removing from the oven. While the base is baking prepare the cheesecake layer.
Transfer the batter to the spring form. Scrape out the mixing bowl and smooth the top of the cheesecake before returning to the oven for 35 – 40 minutes.
Keeping the top as level as possible is no guarantee that the final product will be absolutely flat but each detail will help getting as smooth a top a possible.
Once the cheesecake is baked, let it sit for 10 minutes before gently running a knife around the edges and opening the spring. Once the cake if fully cooled (putting it in the fridge for a few hours works too), it is time to cut your heart shape.
DO NOT do this on the cookie rack as shown in the picture. I put the rack underneath because the colour of the cake and the counter were similar (and the sun had already gone down so picture taking in winter was an issue). A firm foundation is important so that the cookie layer can be effectively cut.
I have two sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters and ended up with one large and three small hearts.
Use what you have available or create a pattern to use as a cutting guide if the plan is to use as much of the cheesecake as possible.
When it comes to pouring the chocolate, the larger size was easier to cover. It was never my intention to try for a completely smooth surface as that uses more chocolate and I was coming to the end of my Truffettes de France. With more chocolate, the glaze can flow over the edges and fall through the rack to the space below. It looks lovely but there is then leftover glaze and part of the plan was to finish off items, not have extra bits left over.
Melting the Truffettes de France can be done in the microwave or over simmering water. Either way be sure to stir regularly so as to not overheat the chocolate. If you missed the explanation, I received two large bags of Truffettes de France for Christmas. I had about 50 left and used 30 for a recent Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream post.
The non Truffettes de France option is to combine semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup (amounts are in the ingredient list) in a microwave proof bowl or to place the three ingredients over simmering water. Stir well until the chocolate melts and the glaze is smooth. If using the microwave, power on for short bursts and stir in between each session.
If the cheesecake pieces are coming directly from the fridge, know that the covering will harden more quickly and there will be less work time before the chocolate hardens. Letting the cheesecake sit out for 15-20 minutes will warm up the cake a little and lengthen the working time.
I found the chocolate flow was easier to control on the larger heart.
Once covered, let the cake sit to 5 minutes then transfer off the rack and onto parchment or wax paper. This is so that the chocolate does not harden, attach the cake to the rack and break off when applying force to separate the two (yes, past experience).
Decorating is a personal choice. I try to not make suggestions that can not be easily duplicated. Something like a garnish of whipped cream is an easy solution.
I have small heart molds from chocolate making classes and a little white chocolate so went with a slightly different finish. Please do what works best for you. This should be as stress free as possible so that the evening is enjoyable for you and whoever you are choosing to share your chocolate cheesecake heart with.