Spring may have sprung here in Columbus. Yesterday, it was warm enough to walk to the stores without a jacket on. Besides soaking in some sun and inhaling the fresh, cool air, my mission was to find some festive sprinkles to decorate a dessert. St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and I wanted to start experimenting early, so that I could have time for a second try if I wasn’t successful with the first attempt. Unfortunately, it seems that the stores are more interested in green bling and booze than in shamrock sprinkles. Michael’s, Target, Kroger: no luck there.
The grocery store did carry Bailey’s Irish Cream as well as non-alcoholic coffee creamer. The creamer was cheaper, and I would find it easier to dispose of extra coffee flavoring than liquor, so I bought the creamer.
Creamer in place of liquor was one of the substitutions. I also used a gluten-free crust in place of the crushed “biscuits”. The third substitution was suggested by my European coworkers: cottage cheese for the cream cheese.
Although I do trust them, I wanted to look at several recipes to get a better idea of how the cream cheese would hold up. I also wanted to be sure that adding chocolate and cream wouldn’t cause a negative chemical or physical reaction. Half Price Books was one of the stops on my walk that afternoon, so I peeked at a few cheesecake recipes in different volumes. No book had exactly what was in my mind: some included gelatin, others didn’t have the chocolate, etc. But I decided to give it a whirl nonetheless.
The 2 eggs, cream, sugar, and cottage cheese came together nicely in my Oster blender. The chopped Brix extra dark chocolate that I got for Christmas melted quickly in a double boiler, and it was easily incorporated into the cheese mixture. Another few pulses and the liquid was ready for the muffin cups that I had prepared. After 20 minutes in the preheated oven (300*F) they were finished.
Cheesecake is better if you’re patient enough to wait for it to cool and for the flavors to meld. So, I left them in the refrigerator overnight. This morning I took one to work, so that we could have a taste test. I should have taken more. Only a few lucky people got to have a bite.
Tomorrow, I’ll take a few more in for my coworkers. Now that I know the flavor and texture are good, I want to make sure that the individual cheesecakes are also pleasing to the eye. Whipped cream might not survive the walk to work, so I just drew some shamrocks with green sparkle gel.
1/4 c Bailey’s coffee creamer Original Irish Cream flavor
16 oz cottage cheese
4 oz Brix extra dark chocolate
2 large eggs
1/4 c white sugar
Makes 18-20 cupcake sized cheesecakes