Mexican Hot Chocolate Cheesecake
The first time I ever considered adding something with a kick to chocolate was because of the movie Chocolat. Everywhere I went I wanted to try it. When I finally found it, I loved it. I had no comprehension what pepper it was or how the sugar in the chocolate that helped to temper the heat of the chilies.
I didn’t even consider that I had already been eating chocolate with spice since I was a young girl. You see, for a long time, my favorite food was Chicken Mole. Mole is a complex traditional sauce in Mexico that takes hours and hours to cook. My dad became really good friends with the owners of a restaurant in Richland, Washington, called Las Margaritas. From the moment I tried their mole I was in love and every time we went there, there was no doubt what I would order.
For my twelfth birthday, my dad asked if the owners would teach me to make it. I don’t know what i was more excited about, learning my favorite recipe or getting to go into a professional kitchen for the first time. I stood on the line, right next to the other cooks, and made my own dinner. It was AWESOME.
Hilariously, when I was 14, I followed a recipe for Chicken Mole… that was meant for a restaurant. Four gallons of sauce and twelve pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts later, my parents were not laughing.
But back to the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cheesecake. I have always loved spiced chocolate. It is amazing. And when a friend asked me to make a cheesecake based on Mexican Hot Chocolate, I knew what to do. I knew what I wanted. And this is the result. This is not rip your face off spicy. Instead it leaves a very gentle tingle in the back of your throat. It is rich, creamy, and intensely chocolate followed by a gentle warmth. Try it, I promise you will like it!
Topping the Cheesecake
Okay, so you have a cheesecake that is rich and has a kick to it. What do you top it with? Sure, you can leave it as is, but to really elevate the flavor to the next level, where do you turn?
One of my favorite treats is a little bit of raspberry jam with brie on crackers. Talk about delicious. A few weeks ago, I found this amazing brie (do you guys want to see my favorite gourmet cheeses?) and bought a locally made raspberry jam. But not the plain jam… I got raspberry jalapeño jam.
Raspberry and chocolate go so well together and I suspected that the jalapeño would really compliment the cayenne pepper that is mixed into the cheesecake. And man did it. The sweetness of the raspberry really mutes the heat of the jalapeño and just boosts the warm tingle in the back of my throat. You really have to give this a try. I really love this cheesecake. My son has declared it his favorite. I’m sure I’ll make this again real soon, I sure hope you will too.