In this recipe, since the cake is sliced into 1-inch square bites, it must be quite firm without being overbaked. So I depart a bit from my usual formula and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to help stabilize the cake. It doesn’t affect the flavor at all, just the texture a wee bit.
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups (225 g) gluten free cookie crumbs (I used my “Nabisco” GF Honey-Maid Grahams, from Classic Snacks)
- 5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling
- 2 8-ounce packages (total: 16 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar (can reduce to 1/2 cup (100 g) for a less-sweet version)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot)
- 2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate coating
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) virgin coconut oil (or vegetable shortening)
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with overhung, crisscrossed pieces of unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
- Prepare the crust. In a medium-size bowl, place the cookie crumbs and the melted butter, and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened. Place the cookie crumb mixture in the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of the pan and very slightly up the sides. Set the pan aside.
- Prepare the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, place the cream cheese and beat with a hand mixer (or the paddle attachment in a stand mixer) until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, salt, cornstarch, eggs and vanilla, beating to combine well after each addition. The mixture should be smooth and pourable. Pour the filling on top of the prepared crust. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until just set (about 30 minutes). The filling is set when it does not jiggle more than a tiny bit in the center when the pan is shaken gently back and forth. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before covering the pan with plastic wrap and placing in the freezer until very firm (about 2 hours).
- Slice into bites. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, uncover and remove from the pan using the overhung parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, slice into 64 1-inch squares, cleaning the knife frequently to ensure clean edges.
- Make the coating and dip the bites. Place the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a large, deep bowl with high sides. Melt over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally, in 30-second increments at 60% power. Allow the chocolate to sit at room temperature until it begins to thicken a bit. Holding each bite by the crust with your fingertips, dip it into the chocolate coating at least halfway up the sides. Place, crust side down, on a piece of parchment paper. Allow the bites to sit until the chocolate is set. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.