Today I’m back in the IBC kitchen to show you how to make a beautiful and delicious dessert that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or any occasion.
This recipe for individual No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecakes is inspired by one of my favorite baking bloggers and her new baking cookbook!
Late last year, Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog released her first cookbook, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book and was kind enough to send me a copy to enjoy. As you probably know, baking is my favorite thing to do in the kitchen, so I was super excited to get my hands on this book.
A couple years ago I had the chance to meet Sarah (and her hubby) at a blogger event in Los Angeles. She is beyond sweet, and I greatly enjoyed our conversations. I wish we would have had the opportunity to chat more.
I guess my wish came true (in a way) because now I have a little piece of Sarah in my kitchen at all times thanks to her beautiful cookbook!
Although I was tempted to make so many things from her book, I kept my eyes open for something that I could give a twist to for Valentine’s Day. When I spotted her (Almost) No-Bake Cheesecake with Jam Swirl, I knew I had found a winner.
While Sarah created her no-bake cheesecake in a more traditional style, I decided to give mine a personal and chocolatey twist.
Instead of making just one large cheesecake, I opted to make six single servings. I’ve had these double-walled bowls from Zwilling J.A. Henckels that I’ve been dying to use and thought they would make the perfect presentation. (Don’t worry if you don’t have bowls like this. Any bowl will do, or even a large mouth mason jar will work.)
I also opted to use chocolate graham crackers for my crust. Paired with raspberry jam, I thought this would be a dynamite flavor combination for Valentine’s Day. (And boy was I right.)
Since my cheesecakes were going to be a bit smaller, I adjusted Sarah’s recipe to accommodate the size change as well as my chocolate additions.
Also, Sarah baked her crust. (That’s why it’s called an “almost” no-bake cheesecake.) However, since I was using these glass bowls, mine truly needed to be no-bake. While the crust doesn’t completely hold together (which really doesn’t matter since these are served in a bowl) I did use a little more butter in my crust to make it a bit firmer.
In addition, because I tend to be a messy baker, I found it easiest to pipe the cheesecake mixture into the glass bowls. This helped me keep the sides of my bowls nice and clean.
You can use any jam as a garnish for this cheesecake, but I went with raspberry. I love the combination of raspberries and chocolate so it was an obvious choice for me.
Garnished with a dollop of whipped cream, a fresh raspberry, and a chocolate heart, I think this might just be one of best Valentine’s Day desserts ever. Plus, we didn’t have to turn on the oven!
Let me tell you, these guys are crazy delicious and so simple to put together. Restraining myself from sitting down with a spoon and eating all six was the hardest part of this recipe. Seriously.
If you want to recreate these for your special someone this Valentine’s Day, here’s the recipe.
makes 6 single serving cheesecakes
Here's what you will need:
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/8 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 blocks (16 ounces total) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup raspberry jam
Fresh raspberries, whipping cream, and heart chocolates to garnish
In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs* with the sugar and melted butter until combined. Divide the mixture into six small dishes (about 4 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep). Press into an even layer with your fingers or a spatula. Place in the refrigerator while preparing the cheesecake.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Beat again until smooth and combined. Transfer the cream cheese mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk (in a new or cleaned bowl) beat the heavy whipping cream on low for about 45 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating for another 45 seconds. Increase the speed to high and but until stiff peaks form.
With a spatula, stir about one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and fold it in until completely combined. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until fully combined.
Using a spatula or piping bag, divide the cream cheese mixture evenly over the six prepared crusts. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Finally, in a microwave safe bowl, add the jam and 1 tablespoon of water. Heat for about 30 seconds to make the jam liquid. (Heat for an additional 15 seconds, if needed). Stir to combine. Allow the jam to cool slightly, then drop small amounts of jam on top of each cheesecake. Use a skewer or toothpick to drag the jam through the top of the cheesecake to make swirls.
Refrigerate the cheesecake about 1 hour until firm or up to 1 day. (Cover with plastic wrap if refrigerating for longer than 1 hour.)
*Use a blender or food processor to crumble whole chocolate graham crackers to create fine crumbs for best results.
I hope you enjoyed this tasty, fun, and elegant dessert. Give it a try this Valentine’s Day for a treat to share with the ones you love.
For more irresistible everyday baking favorites and delicious, reinvented classic recipes be sure to pick up Sarah Keiffer’s The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. You may also want to visit her blog, The Vanilla Bean Blog, for more deliciousness.
A big shout out to Sarah for sharing her book with me!