Despite the prevalence of arachnophobia, and my own squeamishness about insects in general, I have absolutely no qualms with serving spiders for dessert. Yes, you heard me right, spiders!
…Of the purely chocolate-variety, perched on top of a chocolate web embedded in a vegan cheesecake, that is.
Striking that delicate balance between creepy and cute, this Halloween delight is sure to impress even your most finicky and easily frightened guests. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make; If you can assemble a cheesecake, this version takes only a little bit of extra effort.
Starting with my Mini Ice Box Cheesecake (sans fruit topping, of course) from My Sweet Vegan, I merely scooped some chocolate ganache into a piping bag with a tiny round tip, and piped it in a spiral over the top. Then, a toothpick is used to drag out the points of the web, starting at the center, and radiating out in equal spacing to the outer edges. For really clean lines, make sure you wipe off the tooth pick between each stroke!
While the cake is setting up in the freezer, take some plain melted chocolate, and pipe it out with that same tiny tip onto a silpat, drawing out simple spider shapes. As you can see, I’m no artist here, but all you need is to start with a medium blob, and then draw out eight lines along the sides for legs. Make many more than you think you’ll need, as the legs can be a bit delicate and prone to breakage.
Let the chocolate rest until set, and then place them on the frozen cheesecake as desired. Hide any mistakes or imperfections with a plethora of little creepy crawlies, and make sure that each slice gets at least one spider when served.
Still don’t have a copy of my book? Well, you’re in luck, because you have another chance to win it over at Dinner at Christina’s. Hurry, the drawing ends soon!