and Mini Mocha Latte Bites
I didn’t start drinking plain coffee until my senior year of college. That is the time when coffee became a necessity while trying to balance the full 8 hour day of a student teacher followed by a couple of hours of work in the evening. Before becoming a coffee addict, the only caffeinated morning beverage I ever enjoyed was the occasional mocha latte that I could afford on my college student budget. After moving on to regular coffee, I neglected my mocha latte regimen, and only recently started enjoying them again. I had forgotten how much I loved them, and then, when I began baking, and moved on to the art of making cheesecakes, I decided that developing a recipe for a Mocha Latte Cheesecake was an absolute must. I love all cheesecake, but one of my favorite parts of this cheesecake is how absolutely gorgeous it looks. With a layer of chocolate, and a layer of mocha, this is one classy slice of cake.
*Special Note* This recipe can be made without the Mini Mocha Latte Bites; however, you will have leftover mocha flavored batter, and a thicker Oreo crust if you don’t make the bites. I hate throwing away excess food, so I always make the bites at the same time as the cheesecake, as a way to utilize any extras. If you aren’t making the bites, just skip those steps in the recipe when making your cheese cake and throw out the excess batter that doesn’t fit in the cake pan.
7 tbsp Melted Butter
3 8oz bricks Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3 tbsp Cornstarch
4 Large Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
⅓ cup Cocoa Powder
3 ½ tbsp Water
¼ cup Dark Roast Coffee
¼ cup Semi Sweet Mini Chocolate Chip Morsels
*Special Note* This recipe requires a lot of dishes, so I’ve made you a list of tools to give you an idea of what you will need before making it.
2 Mixing Bowls
9 inch Cake Pan
Mini Muffin Tin
15 x 10 Rimmed Baking Sheet (a larger size will also work)
11 x 13 Baking Dish (a larger size will also work)
1. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge before starting to prepare any of the cheesecake components. This recipe is easiest to make if the cream cheese is softened, meaning out of the fridge for at least half an hour before working with it. In addition to prepping the cream cheese, take this time to brew up a pot of dark roast coffee. Pour 1/4 cup of it, and let it cool down before using it in the recipe.
Kitchen Tip 1: While Philadelphia Cream Cheese is a little pricier than other brands, I’ve found that when making cheesecakes, this brand is an absolute must. Philadelphia seems to break down into a smoother consistency, while other brands threaten to clump up.
2. A perfect cheesecake requires a decadent crust, and that requires two ingredients – Oreos and butter. Throw the Oreos into a large food processor and grind them into dust. When they are partially ground, pour the melted butter over the top of the dust and turn the machine on again to combine them together.
3. Grease a 9 inch cake pan and 16 mini muffin cups. Pour 1 tsp of the Oreo mixture into each of the muffin tins, and then dump the rest into the cake pan. Put a sandwich bag over your hand, and firmly press the ground up Oreos into the muffin tins and the cake pan until they provide a smooth lining across the bottom of the pan and tins.
4. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until it starts to reach a smoother consistency. Once it breaks down, add in the sugar and cornstarch.
Kitchen Tip 2: If using a standing mixer, make sure to use the wire whip attachment for this recipe. It works much more effectively than the regular mixing attachments.
5. Add the eggs two at a time to the bowl, scraping the edges and the bottom of the bowl in between additions to make sure everything is combining appropriately.
6. Beat in the egg yolk, cream and vanilla, then pour the batter into a different bowl that is large enough to hold 5 cups.
7. Pour the cocoa powder and water into the original mixing bowl and combine together with a mixer. This will create a thick paste.
Kitchen Tip 3: Whenever I use cocoa powder in a recipe I like to create a mixture of two kinds of cocoa powder. I prefer to use half special dark powder and half regular cocoa powder. Adding in some special dark cocoa powder seems to create a richer taste.
8. Pour 2 ½ cups of the batter into the bowl with the cocoa powder paste. Mix together making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that the cocoa powder is fully integrated into the batter.
9. Pour the coffee into the plain vanilla batter. Then add ½ cup of the chocolate batter into the coffee flavored batter.
10. Pour all of the chocolate batter into the bottom of the cake pan and smooth it out into an even layer.
11. Pour one spoon of mocha flavored batter into each of the 16 mini muffin tins. Then pour the rest of the remaining batter over the top of the chocolate batter in the cake pan.
Kitchen Tip 4: Do not pour the mocha flavored batter too quickly over the top of the chocolate batter, or the layers will not set evenly.
12. Create water baths for both the mini muffin tin and the cake. This is done by filling a large rimmed cookie sheet with at least ¼ inch of water and setting the mini muffin tin on top of that sheet. Then place the cake pan in an 11 x 13 or larger rectangular baking dish and fill the rectangular dish with at least a ½ inch of water.
Kitchen Tip 5: Be careful when handling the pans filled with water. You do not want the water to splash into the cheesecake batter as this can damage the quality of the finished product.
13. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cake pan with the water bath on the top shelf of the oven and bake for ten minutes. After the time is up, add the mini muffin tin and water bath into the oven on the bottom shelf, and bake for another ten minutes.
14. Turn the oven down to 250 degrees and set a timer for 40 minutes. After the time is up, remove just the muffin tin. Add 6 – 10 mini morsels onto each muffin and press them down slightly. Leave them out of the oven, and DO NOT touch them for at least another hour. Set the oven timer for another 40 minutes to let the cake pan continue to bake. Remove the cake pan once the time is up and pour the rest of the mini morsels on top of the cake, press them down slightly, then bake the cake for 8 more minutes.
15. Once the timer goes off for the final time, turn the oven off, crack the door open, and let the cake come to room temperature inside the oven. This can take up to half an hour.
Kitchen Tip 6: Do not skip the step of letting the cheesecake come to room temperature in the oven. This process helps to avoid cracks developing on the surface of the cake, and it keeps the presentation clean.
16. While waiting for the cake to come to room temperature, use a butter knife and run it along the edges of each of the mini mocha bites, then use a fork to pop them out. Some of the Oreo layer may stay stuck to the bottom, but don’t panic, there will still be plenty of Oreo layer attached to the cheesecake bite.
17. Refrigerate both the Mocha Bites and the Mocha Latte Cheesecake for at least 8 hours before cutting and serving.
While cheesecake baking does make A LOT of dishes, it is overall relatively easy to make. Cheesecake may take a long time to bake since it must be done low and slow, but the end result is worth it. There is nothing quite like a decadent bite of cheesecake to finish off a delicious meal.