Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dark Chocolate Créme Fraîche Pretzel Crust Mini Cheesecake

Who likes chocolate covered pretzels? I do, I do! Who wouldn't? I love salty, sweet concoctions. These dark chocolate cheesecakes are seriously scrumptious. And the hubs said it reminded him of chocolate covered pretzels! And it does, but its much more rich and decadent. When it comes to chocolaty desserts, I can't resist. Perfect for a bridal or baby shower, birthday celebrations or even afternoon tea, these little treats are delicious and easy to make.

The last time I used my mini cheesecake pan was for the Peanut Butter Créme Fraîche Pretzel Crust Mini Cheesecake. And those of you who remember the story behind what happened are probably wondering what went wrong. Well, I still have no clue. Perhaps it was the amount of butter used in my pretzel crust. So, I decided to tweak this recipe and you know what. No dense fog! woohoo.

I also wanted to explain that you really don't need the mini cheesecake pan. You can simply use your muffin pan with cupcake liners. I'm just a dork that loves all things mini and pretty.

Cheesecake Batter
12 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
8 oz Créme Fraîche
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Half & Half
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Dark Chocolate (melt on low heat with 2 tbsp heavy cream, stirring often until completely melted) 
2 Tbsp Sifted Cocoa Powder

Pretzel Crust
1-1/2 Cups Pretzel Crumbs 
6 tbsp Unsalted Butter (melted & cooled)
4 tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt

1. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the cream cheese, créme fraîche and sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, vanilla, sifted cocoa powder and the dark chocolate sauce and mix well until smooth. 

2. In a measuring cup, combine the pretzel crumbs, butter, sugar and mix until blended well.

3. Prepare your mini cheesecake pan and place the removable disks to each cheesecake form or muffin pan with liners. Place about 1 tbsp of the pretzel crumb in each form and press down with a spoon evenly.

4. Place a spoonful (almost to the top but not quite) of the cheesecake batter on top of the pretzel crust and bake at 325º degrees until filing is set. 15-18 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT) otherwise your cheesecake will not form completely.

5. Remove cheesecakes by pushing up the bottoms of each mini cheesecake form carefully and serve! I added dark chocolate chips to the tops of the cheesecakes.

Okay, this is before the cheesecakes went into the fridge. And can someone please tell me why the above photo is odd? Why did only the corner mini cheesecakes collapse in the middle? I have no clue. Mysterious, I must say. If anyone knows the answer to this oddity please drop me a note. Thanks!

You really need to try these. They're fabulous. These chocolaty, creamy and heavenly cheesecakes are irresistible. Happy baking my friends!

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  1. Eastlyn and co. said... August 19, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    OMG, KAM! My pants button grew tighter as I read the name of these tasty looking treats. HHL's blog was about white chocolate today. Are you all trying to convert me to a chocoholic or what?! That mini cheesecake tin is too adorable. Do the cheesecakes come out easily? Seems like they might get a little "beat up" turning them out of the pan or the sides would be raggedy trying to coax them out with a straight edge. I'll have to try this and let you know how mine turn out. -EW

  2. cooperl788 said... August 19, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Seriously Lisa, I think you are trying to ruin my diet by posting these absolutely tasty-looking cheesecakes. And the fact that they're chocolate only makes it worse! :) I'm bookmarking the recipe for after I finish losing the weight! Eat one for me!

  3. Kim (Liv Life) said... August 19, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Cheesecake is the best... I could eat it ever day! These are just beautiful, I've had the cheesecake pan on my wish list for a while, might have have to put it in the cart. Nicely done!

  4. Brandi said... August 19, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Oh My Gosh! These look amazing! Definitely printing this out for fall baking! Thank you!

  5. ~Lisa~ said... August 19, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    @ Eastlyn, hmm good question. You'll have to try and let me know ( ;

    @ Laura, aw mama so sorry. Moderation, you can have one (= hehe

    @ Kim, thank you. They sure are tasty.

    @ Brandi, yay, can't wait for you to try!

  6. Tree said... August 19, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    OMG! These look fantastic! I have a new Christmas recipe now. LOL Thanks!

  7. Ed (Weekend Food Projects) said... August 19, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    It looks like we are both going with the sweet/salty theme. Your pictures are amazing. I love your blog!

  8. aipi said... August 19, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    They look HEAVENLY!!

  9. Satya said... August 19, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    i love cheesecake...and ur dark chocolate with pretzel looks divine...bookmarked...thanks for sharing


  10. Suzanne said... August 19, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    That looks amazing! Yummm!

  11. Jen said... August 19, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    Ohh, those look amazing!

    So weird about the corner cakes collapsing!

  12. Gree said... August 19, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    These look so fabulous! I love dark chocolate and pretzels, I am going to have to make these but in gluten/dairy free for my poor wee one.
    You are so talented!

  13. baking.serendipity said... August 19, 2010 at 11:16 PM

    Amazing! I seriously need to try your pretzel crust trick. It sounds to die for. Especially when paired with chocolate :)

  14. Monet said... August 19, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    Pretzel crust and cheesecake...yum! I love the mini size too (With cheesecake I like to keep things on the small size) And I have no idea why the outer ones collapsed either...something with the heat distribution?

  15. I'm a full-time mummy said... August 19, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    Oh Lisa! I'm trying real hard to get moving with my baking list and here you goes, tempting me more with those choc and cheesecake concoctions! Argghhhhhhhh.... gotta get the list done ASAP!!!!!!

  16. Baking Barrister said... August 19, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    I seriously had no clue there was even a such thing as a mini cupcake pan. The insane things that these companies come up with!

    Okay, I have to ask: I've also never seen a cheesecake recipe with creme fraiche. Does it impact the texture? I doubt it would impact the flavor.

  17. Norah said... August 20, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    Hi Lisa! What is it that you put on the top to make it look so pretty?

  18. Norah said... August 20, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    sorry, Lisa--I just noticed that I sent you the same question a gazillion times :(

    I'd like to know but I'm not as insane as it seems! Honest!

  19. Cooking Gallery said... August 20, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    Aww...Those mini dark-chocolate cheesecakes look amazing. I love dark chocolate!!

  20. Debs said... August 20, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    OMG these look seriously good. Thanks for sharing.

    PS I have no idea why the corners ones sunk, but I'm sure there's a clever so & so out their who'll give an answer.

  21. jose manuel said... August 20, 2010 at 2:53 AM

    Esto es un autentico placer, una tentación de chocolate. Se ve delicioso. Saludos

  22. Ruth said... August 20, 2010 at 5:55 AM

    oh i do too!! I love pretzels...:)they look yummy!!

  23. Mommy Spirit said... August 20, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    Chocolate, pretzels, and cheesecake...OMG! This sounds heavenly...I wish you were my neighbor :)

  24. Anonymous said... August 20, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    These look fantastic.

    I don't know why the corner cakes collapsed, but my off-the-cuff guess would be that they are baked less evenly because they don't have the insulating benefit of as many other cakes around them. Whether collapse is an effect of too hot or too cool, I don't know; I'd guess the former.

  25. Federica said... August 20, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    wow Lisa che delizia!!!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......bravissima!!!baci!!!

  26. Fun and Fearless in Beantown said... August 20, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    These look ADORABLE!

  27. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said... August 20, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Lisa, that picture should be illegal! It's just wrong how much I want one of those right now! I have a soft spot in my heart for cheesecake anyways! Can I come over please!!!!

  28. Arti said... August 20, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    I love chocolate... Cheesecakes are my favorites.. I dont eat eggs but I am sure an eggless version would be just as delicious as these look here... Trotted over from Satya's blog..:)

  29. Lauren Zabaneh said... August 20, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Adorable is the first word that comes to mind. I'm not a big cheesecake fan, but these may make me think otherwise. Anything with dark chocolate lures me in.

    Weird about the corner cakes. The way I figure, more treats for the chef! But, it would be annoying if you are counting on those for guests. My only guess is that they get more heat than the others, being on the outskirts of the pan. Still kinda mysterious, though. nice job, mama.

  30. Elizabeth said... August 20, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Oh pretzel crust, how I love thee! Beautiful! This will definitely be my next cheesecake!

  31. naomi said... August 20, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    These look darling! I love mini anything. Great idea about the pretzel crust!

    We must be on the same baking wave length, I just made something very similar.

    The fallen corners-odd? I'm not sure why that's the case and have never seen anything like that.

  32. ~Lisa~ said... August 20, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    @ Tree, Christmas? Woman that is too far away hehe you must make these now (=

    @ Ed, don't you love salt & sweet pairings!

    @ Aipi, thank you. Going to check out your site!

    @ Thanks Satya!

    @ Suzanne, they were so good.

    @ Jen, I know right? Its a mystery.

    @ Gree, aw thanks. Sorry these aren't gluten free )=

    @ Sarah, the pretzel crust is outstanding.

    @ Monet, thanks, yes I think its definitely a heat issue since those are the ones that aren't surrounded by other cakes?

    @ Baking Barrister, I think there is a textural difference as well as taste. Lighter. These are so much better than just cream cheese cheesecakes. Creme Fraiche from what I understand is heavy cream that has been fermented. Try it, you'll definitely notice a difference.

    @ Norah, hehe no worries. I placed dark chocolate chips in the middle of the cakes. Thought they needed a little something (=

    @ Thanks cooking gallery!

    @ Debs, thanks and I think it was a heat issue for sure.

    @ Gracias Jose!

    @ Ruth, I'd share with you!

    @ Annette, If you were my neighbor we would have some fun! Seriously!

    @ Anonymous, you're right I think it was a heat issue (=

    @ Federica, grazie bella! Ciao (=

    @ Thanks F&F in Beantown!

    @ Gina, oh yes I agree these should def. be illegal! So good on so many levels!

    @ Arti, thanks for stopping by!

    @ :Lauren, girl love your recent post! OMG you rock!

  33. Magic of Spice said... August 20, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Well I am a dork too, and I love this minis...Gorgeous! And chocolate anything, plus cheese cake - I am moving in :)

  34. CC Recipe said... August 20, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    I like chocolate covered pretzels, TOO! Something tells me that these are soooo much better than chocolate covered pretzels!

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  36. Chef Dennis said... August 20, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    you have outdone yourself with those little beauties! I see a top 9 in your near future! They look so good, I bet I could make those for my girls in my cupcake pans!
    thanks for the inspiration and a great recipe!

  37. MaryMoh said... August 20, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    Oh wow...these look so pretty and irresistibly good!! I think it will be in my dream tonight :D Thanks very much for sharing.

  38. dirtbomb said... August 20, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    These look super delicious.

    now for the dipping situation:
    They deflate because they got over cooked. these could be that the edges of the pan get warmer than the middle OR it could be hot spots in your oven.
    either way they taste good.

  39. oneordinaryday said... August 20, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    Love the flavor combination you've got going here. Salty pretzels and creamy chocolate... yum!

  40. Mama Hen said... August 20, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Oh my goodness this looks delicious! You make everything look so easy and fun to make Lisa! I hope all is well. We are back from our vacation and had such a great time! have a good night!

    Mama Hen

  41. Hannah said... August 20, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    OMG, these have to be the most amazing looking and sounding desert I have ever seen!! I am going to have to brave it and make these! They are totally not in my diet but I don't care LOL! You are so bad! LOL

  42. WhisperingWriter said... August 21, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    Okay, I would LOVE those things. Cheesecake rocks.

  43. Mika said... August 21, 2010 at 3:34 AM

    They are so cute!!!
    I love the idea to use pretzel for the crust...I'll put this on my to do list...

  44. Joudie's Mood Food said... August 21, 2010 at 6:11 AM

    Ok , so i have saved thi recipe. They look s too goof. But one question, how did you get them out of the cupcake tinw ihtout ruining them?

  45. ~Lisa~ said... August 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    @ Alisha, you can move in anytime (=

    @ CC Recipe, oh yes so much better. You must try (=

    @ Chef Dennis, you girls would love you more if you made these for them!

    @ MaryMoh, aww you should make your dream come true hehe (=

    @ Dirtbomb, thank it was just really odd.

    @ One Ordinary Day, thanks!

    @ Mama Hen, welcome back from vacay!

    @ Hannah, hehe but they're so good (=

    @ Whispering Writer, cheesecakes rock for sure!

    @ Mika, the pretzel crust is fantabulous!

    @ Joudies, sorry I just added the language as to how to get the cakes out. I though it was on there. The mini cheesecake pan has disks in each cake slot. So similar to a regular cheesecake pan the disks pushed upwards allow the cakes to come out. Refrigerating after the pan has been cooled completely is key. Mine stuck a bit to the pan as evident by the sides of the cakes. Hope this helps (=

  46. Celeste said... August 21, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Hello! I am your newest follower. I found you through MamaWithFlavor. I took some time to go through your blog and LOVE it! Your mini cheesecakes look sinfully delicious! Looking forward to following you! Take care! :)

  47. sadaf said... August 22, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    Hi Lisa,
    I agree with Gree that you are so telented. I love cheese cakes and i was just thinking to try you peanutbutter mini cakes and you posted this now I am confuse which one should try first.
    but you didnt mention oven temprature for baking.
    You don't want to beat excess air into the eggs in the batter by whipping, as it will cause the cheesecake to puff in the oven and then fall when removed.
    next time try to reduce temprature in the oven and bake for little longer and when done just turn off your oven and leave your pan in the oven for next 30 minutes. then taransfer to room temprature then refrigerate because This gentle finish minimizes the risk of the fallen cheese cake. if this will work please let me know.
    here is a link for my cheese cake post

  48. ~Lisa~ said... August 22, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    @ Celeste, thank you for the follow. I'l be sure to check out your site (=

    @ Sadaf, thank you. And you're right, I left out the baking temperature, oh my hehe. I just added it and I'll be checking out your cheesecake recipe too! Good eye Sadaf and thank you again for reading my post thoroughly to catch this mistake (=

  49. Sooki said... August 22, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    WOW these are perfection!! Presentation is beautiful. I could pop all three of those in my mouth in 2 seconds. Just love love the chocolatey brown with blue combo. Beautiful!!

  50. Debbie said... August 23, 2010 at 4:00 AM

    I must have missed your previous mini cheesecake post because I NEED a mini cheesecake pan STAT ;-)

    These are so cute and make me think of Pretzel Flipz, I love the chocolate and pretzel combo! Nice Work Lisa! And the only thing I can think to do next time so the outer cheesecakes don't sink is to rotate the pan while baking or maybe you need to check for hotspots in your oven with a thermometer next time.

  51. Rachel Cotterill said... August 23, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    I love cheesecake - never thought of making the base from pretzels. I want to try these now :)

  52. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said... August 23, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Another great cream cheese recipe Lisa!

  53. Amanda said... September 11, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Wow. Beautiful photograph of your finished cakes! I was looking for a way to incorporate chocolate pretzels into a dessert and stumbled upon your blog. You inspired my chocolate pretzel cheesecake spin at

  54. Small Burst said... December 18, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    OK...I need to walk away from your blog. There are too many cute desserts and can't make up my mind on what to bring to our office party!!

  55. Small Burst said... January 25, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Just wanted to let you know I made these bad boys and they were sooo super delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  56. Wayne said... October 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Looks great. Tried it, but instead of just the corners they all fell. Used a mini-cupcake pan not the mini cheesecake pan. Seemed under done. Need to try again.

  57. gram cheryl said... May 6, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    These look heavenly… how many does the recipe make? It looks like more than 12...

  58. Julie F said... January 2, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    When do you add the 1/4 cup half and half? I presume with the vanilla?