photo by Anthony Palatta
I've heard it said that there are two types of dessert lovers out there: those who love chocolate and those who love lemon. I'm more of a lemon lover myself, though I also love a good chocolate cake. So when I ran across this recipe for chocolate lemon cheesecakes (provided below), I thought it would give me the opportunity to try to combine the two flavors.
This recipe comes from a fun series of cookbooks (now out of print, though they still turn up at used booksellers) called, The Book of... put out by a publisher called HP. This one is The Book of Chocolates and Petits Fours by Beverly Sutherland Smith.
(Avid followers of my blog may recall an easy and delicious chocolate cookie from the same series.)
I love the illustrations in these books and the rectangular format. Many of the recipes are great, though some are a bit old-fashioned and a few are so intricate I think even Martha Stewart might have some trouble with them.
The recipe is pretty simple. You make a chocolate batter, fluff it up by folding in beaten egg whites, fill mini-tart pans, and then dot each serving of cake batter with a dollop of lemon cream cheese filling. After they're done, ice them with melted chocolate, which hardens, so you get a wonderful contrast of textures (the crunch of the chocolate and the spongy, moist cake) as well as flavors (the soft richness of chocolate plus the surprising spritely kick of sour citrus from the lemon cheese filling).
One thing that confused me about this recipe is that in the book, the lemon filling makes its way to the bottom of the cupcake, which you then invert and coat with chocolate so it looks like a piece of candy. I think the people who staged the photo must have cheated and put the lemon filling on the bottom of the pan and then covered it with chocolate batter.
Also, the recipe calls for decorating the cakes with a candied violet. I just used purple sprinkles.
Finally, the cakes are very delicate and hard to extract from the mini tart pans, which are also a pain to clean up afterward. In future, I'd just use mini-cupcake liners.
Chocolate Lemon Cheesecakes
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp sugar
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar (maybe more?)
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
To coat: 2 oz semisweet chocolate
Bake at 350
instead of superfine, used reg sugar