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Mini Cheesecakes

2008 December 18
by taiyyaba

Guest post by one of my cooking partners in crime, Sara Haddad. Every time we spoke over the past two weeks (no kidding, every time), we talked about making these lemon curd and berry cream mini cheesecakes for a party last week – they were an absolute hit. We used this recipe and they turned out excellent.

For the lemon curd, we used this recipe. For the berry cream, we drained a bag of frozen berries and reserved the juice. Then, we simmered it until it reduced by at least half, then added light cream to it (off the heat). We let it reduced a little bit again, then let it cool. It was poured onto the cheesecakes at the last moment before serving, then those were topped with grated white chocolate.

And now, here’s Sara!

Once upon a time, two young women were studying hard for their exams in a small quaint cafe. One young woman was a brilliant up and coming lawyer, the other was a frazzled Chemical Engineering student. They decided to have a party. But not just any party, this party was to be the best in all the land…well the best in food at least. So they began to plan…

One day the Law School Student took notice of a scrumptious aroma outside the coffeeshop and followed her to where her senses led her, and alas! It was a bakery and two women marveled at the delicious deserts within the case, but without fail they did not purchase anything. During a study “break” the Chemical Engineering student burst out with excitement: WE SHALL MAKE MINI CHEESECAKES! And the Law School student continued on to say: AND WE SHALL TOP WITH THEM WITH BERRIES AND LEMON CURD! And the scheming ensued….

As the weeks went to pass, they celebrated Eid. Every conversation without fail had something to do with the mini cheesecakes. With the date of the party nearing, what else was there to discuss? They found a recipe and the day before the party attempted to bake cheesecake.

‘Twas a dreary day, with the threat of tornados at hand, the worked tirelessly in the kitchen preparing. The crust was made out of vanilla wafers ground up to dust, mixed in with cinnamon and butter to make to the consistency of a soft dough. Once complete the mix of the cream cheese and sour cream was poured into the now compacted (with a meat tenderizer) crust.

Each tray looked like a piece of Good God, wrapped with some Have Mercy and topped off with some UMPH! and was placed in a water bath and baked in the oven at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or ~176.67 °C or 449.82 K to satisfy the nerd in me). After about an hour the young women realized that the cakes had not yet completed their run in the heated dragon’s belly and so they debated on what to do since they had to complete their own personal tasks. The decision was made to leave them in for 10 more minutes with the oven on and then to leave them in there to bake with the heat remaining for about three hours. This proved to be a successful idea and the cheesecakes were perfected. [TQ’s note – this “leave it in the turned-off oven” baking method produced such soft and creamy cheesecake that I think I’ll have to keep experimenting with it to get it perfect and make it my permanent method.]

Now, onto the part of making them ‘mini’. The next day, these young women proved to be inventive in their ideas and through the help of biscuit cutters and boiling water the cheesecakes were cut. [TQ – The cutters cut best when they’re hot] The Law School Student put the definition of these cheesecakes next to KABLAAM in the dictionary through the addition of lemon curd and berries with berry cream sauce to top it all off. The creaminess of the cheesecakes combined with slight hint of the cinnamon in the crust was supreme.

The two young women were able to pull off a task not yet attempted by any of their friends and the mini cheesecakes eclipsed the focus of the party and at some point were more fun to look at than eat…Just. kidding.

It’s not unusual to have fun at any time….

Your Local Arab Mehdni cab driver

aka Sara Haddad

One Response leave one →
  1. Nadia permalink
    January 15, 2010

    I simply love your blog and am always on the lookout for new updates! Would you be able to tell me what size pan you used to bake the cheesecake. I was worried about having enough depth. Thanks!

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