Mini Tiramisu Cheesecake Bites

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This is a recipe I wish I would have had years ago.  I only have a few desserts that I like from restaurants  when I go out to dinner and one of them is Tiramisu.  I love the coffee flavor and the creamy mascarpone cheese layer.  It is not too heavy and not too sweet, kind of perfection.  I needed to make some for the Christmas party for my husband’s office but everything else we were making was in individual form, easy to pick up and small enough that you could sample all of the desserts so I worked on this and I am very happy with the final result.  Some of the things that you will need that you may not have on hand are:

Instant espresso- I always have it on hand because I  add it to whatever chocolate recipe I am making, but you can find it in the coffee section it comes in a little 2 oz jar, make sure it says instant.  I buy a brand called Medaglia D’oro.  You can always use regular espresso or if necessary just some strong coffee.

Lady Fingers- I always find them in the produce section for some reason.  I think you can find them in the freezer section sometimes as well.  They are like little sponge cakes, shaped like fingers.

Mascarpone Cheese- This is a soft sweet Italian cheese and comes in a little tub.  I usually find this in the gourmet cheese section.  I found it most recently at Trader Joes for only 1.99 for 8 ounces and that is all you will need for this recipe.

I also use my food processor to make the Lady fingers into crumbs but if you don’t have one use your blender or probably the mixer would work as well.  Since they are a moist cake I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make them into a nice crumb to replace the graham crackers but it worked perfectly.  Just don’t over process them, just a quick few pulses to make them crumbs and then stop.

Mini Tiramisu Cheesecake Bites

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces espresso or strong coffee (I use 3 ounces hot water and a heaping teaspoon of instant espresso) divided into 1 tablespoon for crust, 1 tablespoon to be added to cream cheese and left over for spooning on crust.
  • 3 ounce package lady fingers
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese- room temperature
  • 4 ounces (1/2 of the 8 ounce tub) mascarpone cheese- room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • mini cupcake papers
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • milk or dark chocolate bar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Fill mini muffin pans with mini cupcake liners. The recipe will make 36.
  3. Pulse the lady fingers in the food processor just a few times to make them into crumbs, pour into bowl and add melted butter and 1 tablespoon of espresso.
  4. Mix well and put about 1 teaspoon of the mixture in the bottom of each liner and then compress them down (I use another cupcake liner to push in and compress the crumbs).
  5. Spread another teaspoon of espresso on top of each lady finger crust.
  6. Beat cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until fluffy and well mixed.
  7. Gradually add sugar, beating well, Add eggs and yolk 1 at a time, beat well after each addition.
  8. Add cream, 1 tablespoon espresso, vanilla and mix on low speed until smooth.
  9. Carefully spoon into each liner, fill almost to top.
  10. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, just until set.
  11. Let cool for about 10 minutes then carefully remove each one from the muffin pan and cool until room temperature.
  12. Refrigerate until chilled, at least a couple of hours.
  13. Whip whipping cream, 2 ounces mascarpone and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  14. When they are cold and ready to serve, carefully take the papers off and spoon or use a pastry bag to place a dollop of mascarpone whipped cream on top. Grate a little chocolate on top of each one and serve.
  15. They store well in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
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