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Oreo Cheesecakes

12 Apr

April 12th, 2015

The way I used to eat Oreos was dunking them in a glass of milk for a few seconds so that the cookies soften up. The best part was when the glass of milk gets flavored with the Oreo cookies, which reminded me of a chocolate Oreo shake. It’s been awhile since I actually bought a package of Oreos, until now, to make these mini Oreo cheesecakes. The Oreo crust was amazing and adding crushed Oreos to the cheesecake filling intensified the flavor even more.

These Oreo cheesecakes are a great alternative if you’re looking for other flavors of cheesecakes. Since I have been using a lot of berries lately in my desserts, I wanted to try a different flavor. Not to mention, one of my favorite ice cream flavors is cookies and cream, so these cheesecakes are up there in terms of one of my favorites.

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Oreo Crust
215 g Oreos (no white filling)
25g sugar
60g butter, melted
 
Y= 12 mini cheesecake rounds

Directions:

  1. Separate Oreo cookies and scrape out the white filling.
  2. In a food processor, pulse Oreos and sugar together until finely crumbled.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine Oreo crumbs and melted butter.
  4. Mix to fully coat the crumbs.
  5. Divide crumb mixture evenly into mini cheesecake pan. Press crumbs firmly into the bottom of the pan.
  6. Bake at 275F for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Set aside to cool. In the meantime, prepare the cheesecake filling.

Oreo Cheesecake Filling
2- 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 oz sugar
2 eggs
1 T sour cream
⅔ tsp vanilla extract
crushed Oreos

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in a mixer bowl. Mix until combined. Scrape bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract.
  3. Add sour cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Using a spatula, fold in crushed Oreos.
  5. Divide filling in the mini cheesecake pan.
  6. Bake at 275F for 30 minutes. Cheesecake is done when it is firmly set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, refrigerate overnight and unmold the next day.
  8. Garnish with whipped cream and more Oreos.

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Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

1 Jan

January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year’s Eve celebration. I couldn’t ring in the New Year without desserts! When the clock hit midnight, I had my red wine and mini raspberry cheesecakes in hand, hoping to make it an even sweeter year ahead.

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These are perfect individual bite-sized desserts, great for any occasion. If you have fresh raspberries, feel free to use them for this recipe; however, frozen raspberries work great as well.

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Wishing everyone a year filled with eating lots of desserts! I’m looking forward to creating more sweets and sharing them with you!

Graham Cracker Crust:
I actually had extra crumbled graham cracker in my pantry so I basically eye-balled the ingredients to make the crust, which included graham cracker, sugar, vanilla powder, cinnamon and melted butter. I have used this graham crust recipe before in a previous post. If you’re curious, it can be found here.

Raspberry Cheesecake Filling:
two 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
3 oz sugar
2 eggs
1 yolk
1 Tbs sour cream
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ C raspberries
 
Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in a mixer bowl. Mix until combined. Scrape bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. Add eggs and yolks. Continue to mix.
  3. Add sour cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Gently mix in raspberries to the mixture.
  5. Divide filling in the mini cheesecake pan.
  6. Bake at 275F for 15-20 minutes. Cheesecake is done when it is firmly set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, refrigerate overnight and unmold the next day.
  8. Garnish with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tartlets

29 Oct

October 29th, 2014

Following my tartlet series, this is my third flavor using the same tart shell recipe as my dark chocolate ganache and lemon cheesecake tartlets. Fall is my favorite season and pumpkin flavored anything is a must when October rolls around.

The tartlets were full of pumpkin flavor and they definitely reminded me of a pumpkin pie more than a cheesecake. You can replace the tart shells with a graham cracker crust, which was what my husband preferred. In fact, the pumpkin cheesecake recipe listed below yields plenty, enough to make 48 mini tartlets and a 6-inch cake. If you don’t get to using all of the filling at once, it does keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Otherwise, you can divide the filling recipe in half.

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 24 mini tartlets.

The other half can be frozen if not used immediately.

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; working in small pieces, roll a piece of dough into a ball. (I eyeballed the size of the pieces).
  8. Place ball of dough into the pan. Repeat until you fill the entire cupcake pan.
  9. Have a bowl of extra flour set aside. Dip the tart tamper in the flour and proceed to flatten each ball of dough. As you push down with the tart tamper, the dough will take the shape of the cupcake pan. Re-dip the tamper in the flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
  10. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough.
  11. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Remove and slightly chill before filling.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

16 oz Cream Cheese
2C Brown Sugar
4T Cornstarch
1 tsp Cinnamon
4 Eggs
30 oz pumpkin puree (almost 2 cans)
10 oz Evaporated Milk

Y= enough for 48 mini tartlets and one 6-inch cake

Directions:

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream the cream cheese, brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon together. Stop and scrape down the sides. Continue to paddle until smooth.
  2. Add the eggs. Continue to mix.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on low speed. Scrape down sides as necessary.
  4. Add the evaporated milk and mix until fully combined.
  5. Fill a pastry bag with the pumpkin cream cheese filling and carefully pipe into the tart shells.
  6. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes, rotating halfway.
  7. Remove from oven and allow tartlets to chill at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

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Lemon Cheesecake Tartlets

26 Oct

October 26, 2014

Recently I became obsessed with mini tartlets; they are convenient, perfectly portioned, and I love photographing them. Like my dark chocolate tartlets I previously made, I used the same batch of tart shell recipe. I had half the dough leftover, which I froze. This time, however, instead of using tartlet molds, I experimented with a wooden tart tamper I found at Sur La Table. The tart tamper was really easy to use and it fit perfectly in my mini cupcake pan to form the round tart shells.

I used a basic cheesecake recipe and added lemon zest. Depending on your preference of tartness you can adjust the amount of zest. I love the taste and fragrance of lemon zest so I opted to add more. These tartlets kept well in the refrigerator for several days, which was convenient because I readily had dessert waiting for me after dinner.

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 24 mini tartlets.
The other half can be frozen if not used immediately.

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; working in small pieces, roll a piece of dough into a ball. (I eyeballed the size of the pieces).
  8. Place ball of dough into the pan. Repeat until you fill the entire cupcake pan.
  9. Have a bowl of extra flour set aside. Dip the tart tamper in the flour and proceed to flatten each ball of dough. As you push down with the tart tamper, the dough will take the shape of the cupcake pan. Re-dip the tamper in the flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
  10. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough.
  11. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Remove and slightly chill before filling.

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Dock the lined dough by using a fork to make tiny holes.

Lemon Cheesecake Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1.5 oz Sugar
1 Egg
6g of egg yolk
1 ½ tsp Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest of one whole lemon

Directions

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Stop and scrape down the sides. Continue to paddle until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk. Continue to mix.
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  4. Add lemon zest. Mix to combine.
  5. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese filling and carefully pipe into tart shells.
  6. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow tartlets to chill at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with whipped cream and more lemon zest.

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Raspberry Cheesecake

12 May

May 12th, 2014

This year for Mother’s Day, I kept it simple and decided to go with a raspberry cheesecake for both Mom’s. Since it’s getting warmer out, I wanted something that was more transportable. Also, I was pressed for time and didn’t want to be rushed in decorating a cake, which was my other option.

When I was looking for cheesecake ideas, I found a great article on the Kitchn about the difference between Neufchatel cheese and cream cheese. Basically, the main difference is in the fat content. Cream cheese has more milk fat than Neufchatel cheese. When picking up ingredients at Whole Foods, I coincidentally came across the two types of cheese. For experimental sake, I opted for Neufchatel cheese. Both came in 8-oz packages, with Neufchatel cheese costing a bit less. I used my usual cheesecake recipe and made an equal part switch with cream cheese for Neufchatel. The results? In terms of taste, there’s not much distinction between the two. The cheesecakes came out dense, creamy and a bit tangy. So, I say, use whichever cheese you can get your hands on.

The raspberries can be replaced with any berries. I used frozen raspberries, but if have fresh berries on hand, feel free to use them. I baked the cheesecakes at a low temperature of 265F for a little over an hour and there were no cracks at the surface. I did not use a water bath and I also used regular cake pans and not the Springform pans. However you bake them, just remember to let the cheesecake chill completely before serving.

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend!

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Graham Cracker Crust
2 sleeves of graham crackers
20g sugar
½ tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp cinnamon
90g melted butter

Yield= Two- 6 inch rounds

Directions:
1. In a food processor, combine crackers, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Pulse until finely crumbly.
2. Add melted butter and mix until mixture comes together.
3. Grease cake pans (using spray or butter)
4. Divide crumbs evenly between pans and press crumbs into the bottom of the pans.
5. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool.
Filling
4- 8 oz packages of Neufchatel (or cream cheese), room temperature
4oz sugar
zest of half a lemon
3 eggs + 2 yolks
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2T sour cream
1C of frozen raspberries (optional)

Yield= Two- 6 inch rounds

Directions
1. Combine Neufchatel, sugar, and zest in a mixer bowl. Mix until combined. Scrape bottom of the bowl as needed.
2. Add eggs and yolks. Continue to mix.
3. Add vanilla extract and sour cream.
4. Gently mix in raspberries to the mixture.
5. Divide filling between prepared pans.
6. Bake at 265F, about an hour. (Set your timer to 40 minutes and check every 10-15 minutes thereafter. Cheesecake is done when it is firmly set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
7. Once cooled, refrigerate overnight and unmold the next day.

Raspberry Compote
18oz frozen raspberries
1/4C water
3T water
zest of half a lemon
1 ½ T corn starch

Y= this was more than enough to spread on top of two cheesecakes. I ended up with about 1/4C leftover that I will use for another project.

Directions:
1. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, water and zest.
2. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir continuously so the bottom does not burn.
3. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch with a bit of water. Mix until a slurry forms. Pour into raspberries and stir to combine. Allow mixture to come to a slight boil. This will help thicken the compote.
4. Transfer compote to a bowl to allow to cool.
5. Spread desired amount on top of unmolded, chilled cheesecake.

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Strawberry Cheesecake

12 Jul

July 12th, 2012

Recently, I realized how much I enjoyed cheesecake (in moderation, of course). Since it can be really rich, usually a few bites will do it for me. Plus, in my opinion, it’s quite versatile because there are endless flavor combinations. So over the 4th of July break, I decided on a vanilla cheesecake with slight lemon zest and topped it off with strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries. The cheesecake freezes well so if you don’t finish the cake in one sitting, it can easily be saved for next time!

Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, I made a gingersnap cookie crust. I had gingersnap cookies around, which I turned into crumbs to make the crust. It gave a chewier texture and a slight spicy kick.

Gingersnap Crust:
250g crumbs
75g melted butter
25g sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix melted butter, crumbs, and sugar until the mixture comes together.
  2. In a well greased 6-in cake pan, press crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Allow to completely cool.

Cheesecake:
335g cheesecake
90g sugar
35g sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon
Strawberries
Directions:

  1. In a mixer bowl, paddle cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add sour cream and mix. Scrape down bowl if needed.
  3. Add one egg at a time. Mix in between.
  4. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  5. Pour into prepared crust.
  6. Bake at 275 F for about an hour, or until the cheesecake is firmly set. To prevent any cracks on the surface of the cheesecake I placed a pan with hot water at the lowest rack of the oven.
  7. To make the strawberry sauce, clean and cut strawberries into quarters. In a pot, bring strawberries and sugar to a boil. (The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you want the sauce to be. You can add more sugar as the strawberries cook). Continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Allow cheesecake to cool before topping with sauce and fresh strawberries.

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