Valley Fig Chocolate Cheesecake with Figs & Port
Sweet, earthy, dark purple California Mission figs simmered in port wine make this recipe the new gold standard for chocolate cheesecake lovers! For the best quality figs, use Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs. Bittersweet chocolate is the first choice here, but semisweet works, too. Don’t worry about using an expensive port; any port with good color is fine. These mini-cheesecakes can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
- ½ cup finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
- ⅓ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1½ cups stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
- ½ cup port
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 12 (2¾-inch) muffin cups with paper cups.
- In small bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, nuts, and melted butter. Spoon about 1 tablespoon crumb mixture into bottom of each cup, dividing evenly; press to an even layer. Bake in middle of oven for 5 to 8 minutes, till fragrant. Remove from oven.
- Cut about ½ cup of the figs into 36 thin, lengthwise slices. Place in small heatproof container with lid and set aside. In small saucepan, bring port and sugar to a simmer over medium heat and stir for 1 minute to form a clear syrup. Pour ½ cup of the syrup over sliced figs. Let cool, then cover and chill until serving time. Finely chop remaining 1 cup figs and add to saucepan with remaining syrup. Return to heat and simmer, stirring often, until liquid evaporates. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of warm fig mixture over crust in each cup, dividing evenly. With back of oiled spoon, press to an even layer.
- Place chocolate and water in microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave oven on 50% power for 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sour cream, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Beat in melted chocolate. Spoon batter over fig layer in cups.
- Bake in middle of oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until just set. Cool in pan on rack. Chill for 6 hours.
- To serve, arrange 3 slices of reserved figs (in port syrup) on each cake and drizzle each with about 1/2 teaspoon syrup.
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