Cherry and orange mini cheesecakes

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So these cherry and orange cheesecakes are ABSOLUTELY irresistible! Trust me, I’d know after the number of those I have eaten. I served them with extra whipped cream and cherries on top and then the term “food porn” truly came to life. Nothing much to add here, just go try making these and you will see for yourself.

cherry cheesecake

CHERRY AND ORANGE MINI CHEESECAKES (Makes 6)

Ingredients

90g digestive biscuits
45g butter, melted
225g mascarpone
grated peel of 1 orange
a few drops of orange extract
90g sugar
3 tablespoons double cream
About 200g cherries

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl crush the biscuits and pour in melted butter. Mix together until all crumbs are coated with butter. Divide this between the jars and press into the bottom. Then cut cherries in half, remove the pit. Arrange the cherry halves on top of the biscuit base really tight to cover it all.
  2. Separately, mix mascarpone, orange peel and extract, sugar and double cream and beat this with mixer for about 2-3 minutes until all combined. Spoon this on top of cherries.

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Peach and blueberry cheesecake

Peach and blueberry cheesecake

If you are looking for a melt-in-your-mouth good cheesecake that incorporates the best seasonal fruit, you have found it. I made this cheesecake for Festes de Gràcia that took place in Barcelona this weekend. The nights of decorated streets, live music and loud crowds deserved something special and this cake sure is the definition of special.

Ingredients

250 digestive or other plain biscuits
60g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
650g cream cheese
200g sugar
125g natural yogurt
3 eggs
a few drops of vanilla extract
65g flour
2 peaches, cut in pieces, plus 1 for decorating
125g blueberries, divided

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 130C. Line a base of 23cm cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a food processor or by hand crush the biscuits into fine crumbles. Transfer to a bowl with melted butter and oil, mix well. Push this mixture into the base of the cake tin and refrigerate until needed.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the cream cheese with sugar and vanilla extract. Add the yogurt and eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the flour and fold in pieces of peach. Pour this mix on top of the biscuit base and smooth over the top.
  4. To prepare blueberry ripple, blend 2/3 of blueberries in blender. Using a fine sieve separate blueberry juice from the bits. Pour the juice into the piping bag and decorate the cake as desired. Bake for 1 hour then turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for another hour. After this time remove from the oven and chill until room temperature. Chill in refrigerator overnight.
  5. Decorate with slices of peach and remaining blueberries just before serving (optional).

Peach and blueberry cheesecake

Peach and blueberry cheesecake

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Raspberry chocolate chip cheesecake

Raspberry chocolate chip cheesecake

No need for introduction this week. The sooner you get to discover this deliciously magnificent and irresistibly sweet raspberry chocolate chip cheesecake, the better! Seriously, I knew it would turn out pretty good, but this just exceeded all my expectations.

Inspiration for this cheesecake came from Steph at Raspberri Cupcakes who made this gorgeous Cherry chocolate chip cheesecake. When I saw it, I knew I had to make it asap.

As I’m not a big fan of cherries I replaced them with raspberries. If you don’t like neither of those, why not try blueberries or blackberries?

In the original recipe chocolate ganache is used as a top layer, but it can be quite overpowering in already very sweet cheesecake. I replaced it with sour cream jelly layer that Nami-nami, Estonian food blogger, so beautifully used for her Blueberry cheesecake.

And it turned out to be one of the best (if not the best) cheesecakes I have ever made!

RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

Cheesecake
2 cups (about 200g) of crushed digestive biscuits
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons (60g) butter, melted
about 2/3 cups (150g) raspberries + a few for decorating
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) + 2 teaspoons cold water
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (or 150g of finely chopped dark chocolate)
1 1/3 cups (300g) cream cheese
½ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cups (150ml) double cream

Sour cream jelly layer
1 cup (about 200g) sour cream
1/3  cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatine

Mint leaves for decorating (optional)

Preparation

Cheesecake
For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F) and grease rectangular loaf tin ( mine is 25cm).
  2. Line the base and two long sides of the loaf tin with baking paper leaving some extra baking paper hanging over the edges to make it easier to lift the cheesecake out of the tin later.
  3. Mix crushed biscuits and 1 tablespoon sugar together in a bowl. Add butter and stir until well combined. Using your hands spread mixture out in an even layer & press crumb mixture into bottom of tin to form an even crust.
  4. Bake until crust is set and golden, 15–20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the cheesecake layer:

  1. Place raspberries, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small saucepan and place on medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the cornflour mixture to the saucepan and stir over heat until mixture starts to thicken, then set aside to cool.
  3. Place cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the chocolate chips and mix until those are evenly distributed.
  4. Add raspberry mixture and mix until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, carefully beat the double cream to stiff foam. (Literally takes a few seconds).
  6. Fold cream into the rest of the mixture and then pour over the cooled crust.
  7. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Sour cream jelly layer
Couple of hours before serving:

  1. Mix sour cream and sugar in a small saucepan and heat slowly on a low heat, stirring regularly, until the sugar has melted. The mixture should be about 60-70 C (140-158 F).
  2. Stir in gelatine prepared in small amount of water (about 3 tablespoons) and stir until amalgamated.
  3. Pour the sour cream mixture carefully on top of your cooled cheesecake and return to the fridge for an hour or two.
  4. Lift out of the tray using the baking paper flaps and peel away from the sides. To make it look neater run a knife under hot water and then use it to slice a thin layer of the sides.

Raspberry chocolate cheesecake

Raspberry chocolate chip cheesecake

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Strawberry cheesecake tartlets

Strawberry cheesecake tartlets

I’ve been recently watching some random episodes of Friends (that’s like an annual thing for me) and I realised that Joey’s reaction to Rachel’s English trifle in “The one where Ross got high” pretty much summarises my approach to this recipe (if not baking, in general).

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I might not go to extremes of adding meat to deserts, but I tend to use ingredients that I like individually, mix those together and hope for the best. It doesn’t always work out, I must say, and indeed sometimes tastes like socks, but this time the risk paid off, because you know… Cheesecake, good. Tart, good. Strawberries, super good. What’s not to like?!

These actually turned out so delicious and cute that I could not resist and ate 2 (!!!) before my friends arrived and saved me from over indulgence. In my defense, those tarts were just sitting there all cute and looking at me like:

how_you_doing

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE TARTLETS (Makes 6)

Ingredients: 

Pastry:
1 ½ cups flour
125g room temperature butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

Cheesecake layer:
1 cup (200g) cream cheese
¼ cup (50g) sour cream
1 Tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
Grated zest of ½ lemon
A few drops of vanilla extract

Strawberry jelly layer:
1 1/2 cup of strawberries
¼ cup sugar
3/4 tsp gelatine powder

Preparation

Pastry:

  1. Cut up butter in pieces and add to flour. Mix together with hands until you get a crumbly mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl beat egg white with sugar until white and fluffy. Add egg yolk and beat a bit more. Then add soda and a pinch of salt. Give it one last stir and mix into the flour mixture.
  3. Once mixed, use your hands to form a ball of dough. If it sticks to hands add a bit more flour until it doesn’t stick. Cover the ball in cling film and refrigerate for 30 min.
  4. After 30 min heat oven to 170c. Slightly oil and flour tartlet cases. Take the dough out of the fridge, divide into six equal parts  and place each part in the centre of tartlet case. Spread using your hands.
  5. Once all is covered use fork to make holes in the base. Cover with baking paper and add baking beans to avoid rising.
  6. Bake 7 min. Take out the case and remove baking beans. Bake uncovered for 5 min.

Cheesecake layer:

  1. Heat oven to 170°C.
  2. In a blander beat together all cheesecake layer ingredients until smooth and runny.
  3. Pour mixture in pre baked tart cases leaving about 5mm from the top.
  4. Bake 10-15min until mixture is set but slightly wobbly in the middle.
  5. Cool the tartlets completely before pouring over strawberry layer.

Strawberry layer:

  1. In a blander beat strawberries until it reaches smoothie like texture.
  2. Pour it into a small saucepan, add sugar. Stir over a low heat until sugar has melted and combined with strawberries. Add gelatine  prepared as per guidelines on the packaging and stir fast to combine. The mixture should be hot, but not boiling.
  3. Once gelatine has completely dissolved take the strawberry mixture off the stove and cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour over cheesecake layer and refrigerate tartlets for 2-3 hours before serving. When tartlets have been in the fridge for about an hour, decorate them with golden pearls or anything you would like.

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