January 10: Bittersweet Chocolate Day
How much is too bitter in bittersweet chocolate for your tastes? When we sampled chocolates at a store a long time ago, we tried white chocolate (0%)* to unsweetened chocolate (100%) and others in between. The percentages reflect how much cocoa mass is included in the chocolate. The higher the percentage, the more intense and darker the chocolate. That percentage is lowered by the amount of sugar and dried milk solids added to the chocolate. Also, different manufacturers classify the percentages differently and label their chocolates as bittersweet, semi-sweet or extra-dark.
Highlander can tolerate up to 85% in his chocolate but that tastes too bitter for Islander. She prefers hers no more than 70%. So that is the chocolate percentage she used when baking bittersweet chocolate cheesecake cups (although she did drizzle the tops with a 54% chocolate to add a little sweetness and color contrast).
Try sampling the variations of chocolate percentages and see how high you prefer your bittersweet tooth. Then use that percentage to prepare bittersweet chocolate cheesecakes cups in celebration of Bittersweet Chocolate Day.
(Adapted from Cookstr)
- 4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (choose your percentage preference), melted
- 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar, granulated white
- 1 egg
- 1 ounce/square of semi-sweet or milk chocolate, melted
In a microwave-safe bowl, break the bittersweet chocolate into small pieces. Melt according to the manufacturer’s directions. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar.
Stir in the melted chocolate until well-incorporated. Add the egg to the batter. Scoop into a muffin tin lined with six cupcake papers.
Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 15-18 minutes. The bittersweet chocolate cheesecake cups will bake up smooth and shiny with a soft-set center. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator to set. Melt the chocolate square according to the manufacturer’s directions. Use a spoon to drizzle back and forth over the cheesecake cups. Or place melted chocolate in a pastry/plastic bag with a small round tip/opening to decorate with drizzles. Yield: 6 bittersweet chocolate cheesecake cups.
- *White chocolate is technically not included in the traditional percentage ratings because it does not have cocoa solids. However, it has a cacao percentage from cocoa butter ranging from 38%-41%.
- A variation of this recipe includes adding an Oreo cookie or chocolate wafer in the bottom of the muffin cups before pouring in the batter as a textured base for a mini pie or tartlet-like deesert.
- Chow down on more chocolate and cheesecake!!! Search our blog for other chocolate and cheesecake recipes.