February 17, 2011

Valentines day and Cheesecakes

Sadly I didn't take any pictures of what I made but this picture comes close.

It was Valentines day and I was cooking up a storm. I was trying to figure out what I would make for dessert. All sorts of things I could make but I just didn't want more cake, or pie or whatever around all week. Now the man loves cheesecake and since I made lasagna for his dinner I figure cheesecake would be good. But who wants a huge cheesecake hanging around?

Now I know he would eat it several days but there's still always stuff left unless we have company. Then I remembered last yr. I bought some heart shaped silicone baking cups that you would use for cupcakes. I didn't use them yet. I thought oooooo, I could make little ones but I didn't have a recipe for it. Everything I had made a lot and I just didn't feel like sitting down and figuring out how to make it smaller. I was really busy with the rest of dinner. And so I looked online and found this recipe from the Joy of Baking. http://www.joyofbaking.com/Cheesecakes%28Individual%29.html

Individual Cheesecakes Makes 12

1 cup (100 grams) graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated organic sugar
4 tablespoons (55 grams)  butter, melted

2 - 8 ounce (454 grams) packages of cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not fat free cream cheese)
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated organic sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used my orange/vanilla extract that's on a recipe on my blogs)
1/2 cup (120 ml) sour cream

Garnish: (Optional):
Strawberry or Raspberry Sauce, fresh berries, or drizzle with melted chocolate ( I made a Strawberry compote)

Cheesecakes: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line 12  - 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch muffin cups with one - 2 inch (5 cm) wide x 6 inch (15 cm) long strip of parchment paper. (The ends will hang over the sides of the cups to be used as handles to lift out the baked cheesecakes.) (Can also use silicone baking cups.)

For Crust: In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press about a tablespoon of crumbs on the bottoms of the 12 muffin cups lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until incorporated. Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and evenly divide the filling among the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for about 18 - 20 minutes or until firm but the centers of the cheesecakes still wobble a little. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (a few hours or even overnight).

Remove cheesecakes by first running a sharp knife around the inside edge of the muffin cups to loosen the cheesecakes. Then, taking hold of the two strips of parchment paper, carefully lift each cheesecake from the muffin cups. Gently peel off the parchment paper and place on your serving plate. Top with strawberry or raspberry sauce, fresh berries, or drizzle with melted chocolate.

*** My notes:

I had those silicone heart shaped baking cups I used but they were smaller than what is suggested here. It made 12 but I had a bit left over. I had a small 6in. pie plate so I layered the leftover crust in there and topped it with the filling. I still baked them at this temp. but only for 15min.  Let them cool.

Then for serving I loosened the sides of the silicone cups and turned them upside down over a serving dish, pushing on the bottom of the cup if it was a bit hard to get out. I put two on a plate next to each other but tilted. ...sort of like the Valentine cards you see with two hearts that love each other. I made a strawberry compote with chopped berries and some brown sugar that sat awhile. By letting them macerate it makes its own juices. Then I put a few spoonfuls over the end of the hearts and let the juice puddle there. They were adorable and so delicious! He loved them so much he went back for more.

We finished the rest last nite. The small pie plate one I intended to freeze for another time. But I often bring things over to my bfs parents house . And so I brought some of our Valentines dinner over the next day......nice chunks of lasagna with sauce and meatballs and the little cheesecake with strawberry sauce.

I will however be making these more often. Since theres just the two of us, its a nice size treat that we wont be eating forever.


Storybook Woods said...

My husband loves cheesecakes, he would love this. Don't you just love the silicone pans!! Clarice

lemonverbenalady said...

Beautiful presentation seanymph! Must be a guy like. The Herbal Husband loves cheesecake!