An awe-inspiring dessert to serve at a formal dinner party or to kids for loads of "oohs" and "ahhs." Plus it's gluten-free and nut-free so you won't have to worry about those allergies!
Step 1: Ingredients
6 GF chocolate sandwich cookies ( like Chocolate Vanilla Crème Cookies by Glutino) (you can use Oreos for non-GF)
16 oz cream cheese*
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt*
3/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup milk*
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/8 cup rice flour (you could use normal wheat flour for non-GF)
*It's really important that these ingredients have all come to room temperature before mixing. Otherwise, the mixture will end up chunky rather than smooth and silky.
For Ganache Topping
3 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
For Chocolate Dome
8 oz dark chocolate roughly chopped
For Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Step 2: Make Cheesecake
Pre-heat oven to 350F
Beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar together on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
Turn speed to low and slowly add in milk. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl while you mix.
Once milk is fully incorporated, beat in eggs one at a time until smooth. Add vanilla, salt, and flour and mix. You should end up with a thick creamy mixture that has no lumps. If there are some lumps, use a silicone spatula to break the chunks up and then mix until smooth.
Separate chocolate cookie into halves and place one at the bottom of each cavity of a mini cheesecake pan. If you don't own a mini cheesecake pan, you can use a normal cupcake pan.
Fill cavities with cheesecake mixture and place in oven to bake for 23-30 minutes or until centers are firm.
Step 3: Top With Ganache
Take cheesecakes out of the oven and let cool. If they start to sink, don't worry: you will be topping the cheesecakes with ganache so no cracks or depressions will be visible. Once cool, take them out and set them on a platter.
To make ganache, stir chocolate and cream together in a microwave safe bowl and put in microwave for 15 seconds. Stir and put back in microwave for 5 seconds. Continue this cycle until your ganache is smooth. Place a blop of ganache on each cheesecake and use an offset spatula to smooth the ganache out. You should end up with a dozen little black and white cheesecakes. Put these in the fridge until ready to assemble and serve.
You could stop here and serve these cheesecake as they are or you can complete the following steps to make the melting dome. I only made a couple domes and served the rest like they are.
Step 4: Make Chocolate Domes
Prepare 12 balloons. If you don't plan on making so many domes, blow up as many balloons as domes you would like.
Melt 2/3 chocolate in a double boiler and set 1/3 of the chocolate aside. When the chocolate has melted through, remove from double boiler and add in the last 1/3 of the chocolate. Mix thoroughly until the chocolate is smooth and shiny.
Use a toothpick to quickly place some of the melted chocolate on the inside of your wrist. This is a good way to test the temperature of the chocolate without a special thermometer. The chocolate should feel slightly cooler than your body temperature. When the chocolate has reached the correct temperature, dip the balloons into the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to help spread the chocolate on the balloon.
I used a piece of sting and tied the balloon to the handle of a kitchen cabinet. This was a easy way to let the chocolate harden without having to hold it myself.
Let the chocolate set for at least 30 minutes before popping the balloon.
Step 5: Pop the Balloon!
Use scissors or a knife to pop the balloon. Then use your fingers or tongs to carefully peel the balloon away from the chocolate. Set the chocolate dome in a cool dry place until ready to use.
Step 6: Melt Some Sugar!
Place the brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly to make sure the sugar doesn't burn. You want the sugar to turn a golden brown color. This will take 3-5 minutes depending on your stove and how much big your pan is. Once the sugar is golden brown, quickly pour in the heavy whipping cream. Be careful! It will steam a lot!
Let the mixture come to a boil and let simmer for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.
If you are making the sauce ahead of time, make sure you heat up the sauce before pouring over the dome. You can microwave it for about 10 seconds or until the sauce begins to bubble. Or your can heat it up on the stove until it begins to simmer.
Step 7: Assemble Your Masterpiece
Place a single cheesecake on a plate. Place a chocolate dome over the cheesecake. Pour the caramel sauce in a cute jar or saucer and serve with the dome.
Step 8: Pour, Watch, and Enjoy!
When everyone is ready, pour the sauce over the dome and watch the chocolate melt in front of you creating a chocolate-caramel-y sauce which perfectly accompanies the chocolate topped cheesecake!