You like cheesecakes, you like the biscuity, buttery base and the creaminess of the sweet and salty cream cheese filling. But you don't like taking the trouble with water baths, you dislike waiting for 3 hours for cheesecakes to bake and cool slowly in the oven, on top of all that, you cringe at the thought of failure- seeing your cheesecakes cracked or reduced to a shrivelled and shrinking visual mess. Plus, you like to keep them cute, so in other words small, so it can have the double edged advantage of being a great no-mess, no-need-for-bad-cake-cutting-business when you take them to picnics/gatherings AND your teeny creation will allow you to justify yourself for having 2. Or 3.
Well guys, I've got a solution for you, well Xiaolu from 6Bittersweets worked it out and I'm just promoting her for her awesomeness in giving us the hope of uncracked cheesecakes without waterbaths. The key is low temperature and a little extended baking time. Other mini cheesecakes I've tried required higher baking temperatures and produced shrinking, cracked surfaces so this time, I think I've found quite a foolproof recipe. Plus maybe after you've conquered this recipe successfully, you can venture into big cheesecakes with more confidence, that's what I plan to do very soon.
Mini Berry Marbled Cheesecake Cups
Recipe Adapted from Xiaolu @ 6Bittersweets
Makes around 16 individual mini cheesecake cups
For the Crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I like to use nice biscuits)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2. in a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Stir together with a fork until well blended and all dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake until just set, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
For the Puree:
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or other berries/fruits
1 Tbsp sugar
For the Cheesecake Filling:
1 lb. (450g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup PLUS 1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer just until smooth.
2. Blend in the sugar until well incorporated. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Finally, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
To Assemble:1. Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C)
2. Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner. Dot a 1/2 teaspoon of the berry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling. Use a toothpick to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.
3. Bake until the filling is just set, about 20 to 30 minutes. (They will look puffed initially but will return to normal with time.) Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.