Saturday, July 9, 2011

Say Cheesecake!

It's awfully depressing to think that it's been nearly two weeks since I've been in the kitchen. A long weekend trip to Santa Barbara over the Fourth of July and another hectic work week have kept me from cooking. But I've been dying to make dozens of things on my list, and thank goodness I finally got the opportunity to cross a few off today!

I spent a good portion of the evening in the kitchen and will post all of the recipes soon, but I thought I'd start with my Mini Cheesecakes with Strawberry Sauce. I stumbled across the recipe this afternoon and remembered that I had mini cheesecakes on my recipe wishlist. That, combined with the fact that I'm allowing myself to eat dessert again now that my vacation is over, made these a must for today.

Mini Cheesecakes with Strawberry Sauce
5 chocolate graham crackers, broken
1/8 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place graham crackers and chocolate chips in food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Divide mixture evenly among 6 cups in a cupcake tin. Press into bottom and two-thirds of the way up the side of each cup. Bake until set, about 8 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla and lime zest. Beat until smooth. Divide batter evenly among crusts. Bake until slightly brown around the edges and just set in the middle, about 30 minutes.

Cool on wire rack, then in refrigerator (for about 2 hours). When ready to serve, make strawberry sauce by pureeing strawberries and sugar in food processor or blender. Remove each cheesecake from cupcake tin by running a butter knife around the edges and lifting the cake out. Drizzle sauce over cakes and serve.

I have good news and I have bad news. So here's the bad news first ... I experienced two minor problems with these cheesecakes: 1) the crust was a little toasty, so I probably should have taken them out of the oven a minute or two sooner and 2) the centers of my cheesecakes caved in. I haven't figured out yet what caused the sinking, but I'm going to do a little research to see if I can figure it out and then try again.

The good news is that they tasted awesome, despite the issues noted above. They were smooth and creamy, and the lime zest really gave them a tangy kick. Plus, the starwberry sauce took them up a notch. (And paired really well with the lime! Almost like a daiquiri!) I think I need a bit more practice to perfect these, but when I do I see endless possibilities ahead of me ... Next time I might try a more adventurous cheesecake, like Oreo or toffee or something equally candy-licious (sans sauce, though).

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy, what's not to love here!? I discovered chocolate graham crackers a while back and that was revolutionary, let me tell you. So seeing them in cheesecake, with chocolate chips- nice! I see that crust working with peanut butter cheesecake. Or anything, really! Although it looks to me that the only problem with this recipe is that they're MINI ;p