1-2 Packages of ladyfingers (depending on how many individual portions you will make)
Cocoa powder, unsweetened, for dusting
Mix the Manhattan Special™ cola and the espresso powder together and set aside.
Whip the egg yolks and sugar over a double boiler until the mixture is thick and lemon yellow. Usually between 5-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it gets too difficult to whip by hand and takes on the consistency of a light pudding. You can also use an electric hand-mixer here, but be mindful when working over a stove.
Once your eggs have reached their desired consistency, remove them from the heat source and whisk in the mascarpone, removing all lumps while working. Set aside your mascarpone pudding to cool.
In a chilled bowl, begin to whip the heavy cream. When soft peaks form, add the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar and continue to whip until you reach the stiff peak stage. Do not over mix. Over mixing will create a watery mess and will ruin the dessert. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone pudding until it’s incorporated and smooth. Fill a piping bag with the pudding and another with the rest of the whipped cream.
Fill the bottom of a bowl or deep container with the Manhattan Special™ soda. Dip the ladyfingers into the mixture, quickly turning them, so as not to oversaturate. They should have a crunch to them still. Push the ladyfinger into the bottom of the push pops or whatever vessel you’re using, creating your first layer. Top that with a layer of the Mascarpone pudding and sprinkle with good cocoa powder. Repeat until you reach the top layer, leaving room for some whipped cream. Dust the top of the whipped cream layer with some cocoa to finish.
Let these set in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter six 1 1/4 cup custard cups (or use a silicone mold coated with pan spray- that’s what we use at Sweet). Toss ground cookies with melted butter in medium bowl to blend. Press 3-4 tablespoons cookie mixture evenly onto bottom of each prepared cup. Bake for 5 min. Just to set.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth then add sugar and mix to combine. Scrape down the bowl, add the zests and flour, mixing to combine. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla while continuing to mix. Scrape bowl and mix until smooth and combined. Divide batter equally among custard cups. Place cups in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up sides of cups. Bake until cheesecakes are set in center, about 45 minutes.
Remove cheesecakes from water bath. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Cranberry Pear Compote
Combine sugar, vanilla bean and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add the pear and cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes (until cranberries pop), stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups.
Cut around cheesecakes to loosen. Turn cheesecakes out onto plates. Pour warm compote around cheesecakes. ENJOY!