Chocolate cheesecake mini recipe made in a small 4″ cheesecake pan to serve two. This rich, chocolatey cheesecake in a chocolate peanut crust is topped with chocolate covered peanuts, and is such a hit for date night!
The day I added mini cheesecake pans to my life was the day everything became a little more delicious.
I found these mini cheesecake pans at a hobby store, but here’s a link to similar ones so you can make this anytime!
Mini cheesecake pans:
This recipe makes a mini chocolate cheesecake in a chocolate peanut crust, and you can’t miss the chocolate covered peanuts on top!
After you locate your mini cheesecake pans, please note that we’ll only be using 1 pan for this recipe! All I make is small batch desserts that serve two people, and one chocolate cheesecake mini is perfect for two. As a result, you’ll end up with 4 small slices of cheesecake using the 4″ pan.
How to make chocolate cheesecake mini:
Very lightly grease all edges of the pan, and note that this might require you to remove the bottom of the pan to sufficiently grease all surfaces! Many cheesecake recipes skip this step, but I don’t want to risk not being able to get the cake out of the pan!
First, we make our chocolate peanut crust. Today, we’re using plain chocolate wafers, which I happen to love and use in a lot of summer no bake desserts. Here’s an Amazon link to them, just in case you have trouble finding them. If you have any leftovers, make my easy homemade Oreos!
To drive home the peanut flavor in this tin roof cheesecake, we’ll add 2 tablespoons of them to the chocolate wafers when blending. Then, a small amount of sugar and butter brings everything together into a crust that lines the bottom and sides of the pan.
Above all, I want to emphasize how important the pinch of salt is in the crust. Since most of the time, when we’re eating peanuts, they’ve been sprinkled with salt, this mimics the salty flavor. Likewise, if you’ve ever had a dessert with a fair amount of salt in it, you know how great salt and sweet go together.
Finally, after baking the crust just enough to set it (less than 10 minutes), it’s time to make our filling! In my experience, the best way to make a chocolate cheesecake mini is to make a plain cheesecake base and then stir in melted bittersweet chocolate. We’ll really drive home the chocolate flavor with cocoa powder; plus, cocoa powder acts a bit like flour and helps your cheesecake sit firmly without cracks.
While our cheesecake cooks in the oven, it’s entirely optional to make some chocolate covered peanuts for the top. They’re so pretty and festive, especially if you’re celebrating an anniversary or date night at home for two.
I hope you enjoy this chocolate cheesecake mini with someone special, and that it makes it into your official recipe file!
For the crust:
- 1 3/4 oz. chocolate wafers (~7 cookies)
- 2 tablespoons halved roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
- 5 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
For the chocolate covered peanuts:
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon honey (or corn syrup)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup halved roasted unsalted peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a small 4” spring form pan.
- In a food processor, make the crust by grinding together the chocolate wafers, peanuts, sugar, salt and melted butter. Pour the mixture into the spring form pan, and pack it down and up the sides of the pan. Pack very well using a shot glass or small glass.
- Bake the crust on a baking sheet for 8 or 9 minutes. When done, remove from oven and turn the oven down to 300°.
- Meanwhile, beat together all cheesecake ingredients. Beat until very well combined, but don’t over do it—you’ll put too much air in the batter and cause cracks in your final product.
- Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 36-38 minutes, until the center is slightly jiggly but not wet when you touch it.
- Leave the cheesecake in the oven, but turn the oven off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, move the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool another 30 minutes.
- Finally, run a knife around the edge of the pan, and then cover with plastic wrap before moving it to the refrigerator. All of these steps ensure that your cheesecake will not crack or deflate.
- Let the cheesecake chill for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate covered peanuts: have ready a sheet pan lined with wax paper or a silicone mat.
- Combine all ingredients except peanuts in a double boiler and melt over low heat (you can also use your microwave on 20-second pulses). Once chocolate is melted and shiny, stir in the peanuts. Immediately pour this mixture onto the awaiting sheet pan and let cool until set in the fridge (~10 minutes).
- When ready to serve the cheesecake, unmold it carefully from the spring form pan, move it to a plate and decorate with large chunks of the chocolate covered peanuts.
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