You want me to make Mini Cheesecakes for your birthday?
|16 oz of Cream Cheese--softening; awaiting transformation into my daughter's celebratory Birthday Cheesecakes.|
|Ariel's Underwater Castle Cake: Bebe's 5th bday cake...just in case you weren't around this blog back then|
ahh. those days are over when I could dedicate a couple weeks to planning her birthday and bake her cake.
"I dunno...it doesn't matter" she says in response to my query the other day about what she'd like me to bake.
|My trusty KitchenAid making short work of beating the cream cheese until smooth|
|After adding the eggs one by one and beating until smooth, we're ready to go|
Such a shame!
I was slightly disappointed but my 2nd child has a sweet-tooth so no fear, she'll inherit my bakeware.
She replied with a smile and eyes-popped-wide-open, "mini cheesecakes!"
|After refrigeration, the crunchy brûlee crust turns into a lovely drippy, sticky caramel sauce.|
You think that was easy to accept for me? I mean my mom and I (and the 8 yr old too) love chocolate. What happened here with this one? Let's say I went back and forth several times these last few years to make sure she was sure she didn't really like chocolate. Lots of Godiva chocolates were ingested to ensure this fact. We consistently entered chocolate stores whenever we were in malls--just to "browse"--and because sometimes they give out free samples.
|I started this blog while I was on maternity leave with my first born. My intention was to create an archive of recipes for my child. Today she's 12. wow. Don't worry. That's my espresso.|
|I always mis-time capturing the candle blow-out! Here's Bebe's chin after blowing out her bday candle.|
|Mini Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes (gluten free) with caramel topping|
|The brûlee dissolves into a caramel sauce that drips down the sides of the mini cheesecakes. Serve with fresh local ripe berries like we did.|
MINI CRÊME BRÛLÉE OR CRÊME CARAMEL CHEESECAKES (gf)
adapted from Williams Sonoma recipe on the back of the bakeware box
For the Crusts:
- 1 cup (114 g) Gluten Free Graham Crackers, crushed or pulverized in a food processor
- 2 T sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 T unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 16 oz (500 g) cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (125g) sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped into the cream
- pinch of salt
- I used fresh seasonal strawberries or berries
- organic evaporated cane sugar, for sprinkling on the cheesecakes; to brûlée
- Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat the cups of the 12-cup cheesecake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- To make the crusts, in a small bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the cups and using your fingertips, press it evenly into the bottom. Bake until the crusts are set, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Reduce the heat to 300°F.
- To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the cups. [NB. I used my "batter pen" by filling it with the cheesecake batter and squirting the batter evenly between the mini molds.] Bake until the cheesecakes are set, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Using a small teaspoon, sprinkle organic cane sugar evenly over each cheesecake (while still in the cheesecake pan). Using a brûlée torch, caramelize the sugar until golden brown.
- To unmold, gently push up from the hole in the bottom of the mini cheesecake pan to remove the cheesecake from the cup. Use a small spatula or butter knife to remove the cake crust from the metal bottom. If the cheesecakes are sticking to the pan, gently run a toothpick around each cheesecake to loosen it before pushing it out of the cup.
- If you would like a caramel sauce instead of the brûlée, simply place the unmolded brûléed cheesecakes into a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, you will notice that the brûlée crust has melted into a lovely oozy sticky caramel sauce. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh ripe local berries.
- Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.