Anyone sipping on a cup of coffee this warm afternoon? Looking out the window, I can’t believe that just three days ago the downpour seemed to have no end! I actually miss the sound of rain and thunder, the flashes of lightening, because with it came a cool breeze that soothed my soul.
And now, it’s back to warm, humid days!
How I miss the crisp, cool days of my childhood!
Ever since I started this blog, I’ve thought a lot about the science behind baking. It has always fascinated me, but now I’m intrigued enough to get my hands into creating recipes.
While cooking, it’s easy to follow your palate and still come up with a great dish, however baking is another situation altogether. Every single ingredient plays a vital role in pulling the dish together, not just in flavor, but texture, moisture and many more components. When baking a cake, muffins or pie, the end product is the result of all the ingredients working together successfully.
Which makes the ratio of ingredients going into the dish very, very important.
I started looking behind the role of each ingredient and the amount of it that goes into the making of a cake recently and something I came across on nearly every website I visited was this one book by Michael Ruhlman called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. I just skimmed it when it got delivered and it includes more then just baking tips. I think I even spied a mayonnaise recipe. Can’t wait to get a crack at it!
In other words, this small batch cheesecake is so simple and quick to whip up.
I did change the recipe around a bit. Instead of just a graham cracker crust, I halved the amount of crushed crackers and added ground hazelnuts instead, which gave it a distinct nutty flavour.
It’s a really straightforward recipe that gives you a delicious and elegant dessert perfect for parties. The individual cheesecakes are the ideal size for a single serving and also for customizing. I topped mine with chocolate ganache and Ferrero Rocher, since chocolate is about the only thing my nieces and nephew have, but you can add almost anything on top. Berry compote, fruit, Oreos, whipped cream or any type of chocolate.
It is also a perfect size to indulge in if you get a craving of having an entire cheesecake by yourself without feeling guilty.
Cheesecakes are a little intimidating to make, I mean, there are so many things that can go wrong, like for instance, it could crack while baking, which is why they’re usually baked in a water bath. However, with these mini cheesecakes, it’s a lot simpler and nearly mistake-proof- it takes just about 15 minutes to bake. All you have to do is make the crust, bake it, whip all the ingredients of the cream cheese filling together and pour over the baked crust and stick into the oven until the top is nearly set. Easy-peasy.
Just close your eyes and imagine this- a creamy, light, decadent cream cheese filling sitting on top of a nutty, moist crust that just melts in your mouth. And you get to have one entire cheesecake yourself. All of it.
If you try out this recipe or simply love it, then please let me know! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram (@_littlemiracles_) and I’ll be sure to check it out! ♥
Individual Mini Cheesecakes- Small Batch
Inspired by dessertfortwo’s cheesecake in a loaf pan
Yields about 10 mini cheesecakes
Time- Cooking 25 mins
Total- 4 1/2 hours
90 gms cracker crumbs
40 gms hazelnuts, ground
3 Tbsp/45 gms butter, unsalted, cool
1 Tbsp/12 gms granulated sugar
400 gms cream cheese
88 gms confectioners sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Line a cupcake tray with liners. Preheat the oven to 163ºC/325ºF.
- Crust: Crumb the crackers and grind the hazelnuts. Mix them together and then add in the butter and crumb together. Pour about two tablespoons into a cupcake liner and press down. Fill all the liners and then pop into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until they are slightly golden. Keep an eye on it because since they are small, they bake quickly and they will be back in the oven again with the filling.
- Cheesecake Filling: Using a hand/stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and mix till combined well before adding the egg. Beat well, pour in the vanilla extract and lemon juice and whisk until just combined. Don’t overbeat because this will lead to the cheesecakes falling once they’re out of the oven.
- Pour onto the crusts and slide into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes and keep an eye on them. The cheesecakes are done once the top seems to be nearly set. The middle might not have set completely but pull them out of the oven. They’ll set in while they cool. Once cooled completely, place them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to set.