Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mini Cheesecakes

From my personal experience, I've learned that you either love cheesecake or you hate it. For me personally, I actually dislike plain-old-cheesecake. However, once it is ice cold and topped with a flavorful sauce, perhaps a strawberry or BLUEBERRY SAUCE, it becomes tastier for me. Yes, that's right, you've waited long enough. I planned to use Ina Garten's Blueberry Sauce I made a week ago and froze, right here on this cheesecake. After a constant nagging from my brother to make cheesecake, I decided that I would. This was the first time making cheesecake so I searched the internet for the best cheesecake recipe. The recipe I ended up with came from Tyler Florence yet again. Remember what a flop of a recipe Tyler Florence's Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze came out to be for me? Well, hopefully Tyler Florence can redeem himself with this cheesecake recipe.

Now when making this cheesecake, I very well knew that I didn't have a spring form pan. I mean, I didn't want to go out and buy a new pan that was designated for a cheesecake so I decided to make mini cheesecakes by baking them in a cupcake pan. I thought this would be a great thing to do. It creates a great portion size and doesn't it just look, well, cool? Don't you just want to have one all for yourself? Plus, this way, you can make a bunch of Mini Cheesecakes with the same batter and change their flavors by the different toppings you can add. With this, you can offer your guests a variety of flavored Mini Cheesecakes instead of having one huge cheesecake that is flavored one way like what Tyler Florence's recipe suggests. So, I followed the recipe exactly and simply used a cupcake pan lined with cupcake papers. (When using the Mini Cheesecake method, it makes about 24). I added about 1 tbsp of the graham cracker mixture into the pan and flattened it out. Then I filled them almost to the top with the cheesecake batter. I then baked it in a water bath for about 22 minutes. It takes between 20 and 25 mins in the oven. It should be just set when you take it out of the oven. I then placed it into the refrigerator to finish setting up. After being in the refrigerator over night, I topped them with either the Blueberry Sauce, a home made Strawberry Sauce or Melted Chocolate. I then went overboard and put a bunch of home-made whipped cream on them that I made by HAND. Remember? I broke my mixer last week making Sticky Buns.....

These Mini Cheesecakes were actually really good! Tyler Florence redeemed himself. These were creamy, had the right amount of tang, a hint of lemon and vanilla flavor and the graham cracker crust had a nice hint of spice from the cinnamon and gave a great textural difference. Then, the different toppings really rounded out the flavors. Thumbs up to Tyler Floernce. I will be posting the recipe for the Strawberry Sauce in a couple of days so look out for that. Here's the cheesecake recipe!!

The Ultimate Cheesecake (6-8 servings)
2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 dash vanilla extract
Warm Lemon Blueberry Topping, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not over-beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a spatula spread a layer of Warm Lemon Blueberry topping over the surface.

Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.

Warm Lemon Blueberries
1 pint blueberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.

Miniature Cheesecakes on Foodista
-Aaron John
My Food Outings: AJ's Food Adventure
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  1. sounds good! i bet the strawberry sauce ones will be really good

  2. They were the best ones. haha. I even took some of the strawberries and macerated them with lemon juice and sugar and placed them on top. Soooo much better!!

  3. yum these look really good!

  4. lol macerated! chris would be quite proud hahahaha

  5. Hello :) : Thank you!! :)

    Michael: Yes he would. haha

  6. hey these mini cheesecakes look yum!

  7. Aj im a hard core newyork style cheesecake fan, however now i have opened up to trying flavoured ones..these look so darn cute

  8. this sounds good to me but then again, im not really much of a cheesecake fan. i had a huge slice at the cheesecake factory before and fell sick after that. good job tho! they look really cute (:

  9. Those look like a good treat for the fourth. They look like those dixie ice cream cups from the grocery store. But sound like they taste much better!

  10. Yum! Those look delicious! :)

  11. Le: Thanks!!

    An Open Book: I love flavored cheesecakes. I think if it has some sort of sauce on it, it gives a little freshness and sweetness. I actually tried this cheesecake without the sauce and it was still good so the sauce just enhanced the flavor.

    Hannah: I like cheesecake when it's put in the freezer. haha. I don't really like it when it's put in the refrigerator because it's really soft. Plus, I think the best part of the cheesecake is the crust XD

    Rick: I didn't even think about that. These are festive aren't they?

    Jordan: Thanks!

  12. they look great!

    send me some will you please!?


  13. Looks nice and love the colours!So sweet & pretty!

  14. hey aj,
    i visited the blog about a week ago when you were going blueberry crazy. glad to see the blueberries live on : ) happy cooking!

  15. Looks delicious! Good idea for a party.

  16. Jeffrey: Haha. Ok!

    Hearty Bakes: Thanks!! :D

    ck: I def. went blueberry crazy. That's a good way to put it!! Thanks for stopping by! :)

    Zorana: Yeah!! These would be perfect for parties!!

  17. There is seriously nothing better than a pint sized cheesecake. I could eat so many of them!!

  18. That's probably the bad thing about making these so small. You can't stop eating them!!

  19. Hi AJ

    I like the way you used white cupcake liners for your mini cheesecakes. The cheesecake layers are clearly presented through the translucent white cupcake liners. Its hard to believe that this is your 1st attempt on baking cheesecakes. Nice job there!

    My ideal kind of cheesecakes would have to be dense and flourless, with no addition of flour or corn starch. After baking cheesecakes several times with and without a water-bath, i find that using the latter helps the cheesecake achieve a more even and creamy texture without the sides drying out.

    Came across this cheesecake book named "Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook". It offers interesting recipes for cheesecake and flipping through it was enough to make me drool. Seems to be highly recommended by cheesecake bakers on amazon. Have not attempted any recipe from it though. You might be interested in it.

    cheers and happy baking =]

  20. these look amazing and your blog is impressive! ;)

  21. Bakertan: Thanks!! I know right? I was surprised they turned out so well on my first try! Thanks for the suggestion!!

    Batter and Beat: Thank you so much!

  22. thank you for sharing your recipe. i will try it bcoz i really love cheesecake


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


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