Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nora's Mini Raspberry Swirled Cheesecakes

Fixed it! Sweetened condensed milk! I had problems with slight dryness last time but this should add the richness I'm looking for.

Also, instead of using fresh berries, which have water (enemy to cheesecakes), I used my trusty raspberry sauce recipe instead. You cook it over the stove and get rid of all that water, and its SO MUCH EASIER to strain all those raspberry seeds.

A couple of other changes, like adding more raspberry sauce to the middle of each cake, using a knife rather than a toothpick to swirl the batter, and letting the cakes cool in the oven, all made for tastier and more beautiful results. If I wasn't lazy, I would have drizzled them with melted white chocolate.

Good thing UTHSC had an iftar or I probably wouldn't have tried this out. I get distracted easily.

Nora's Mini Raspberry Swirled Cheesecakes
Yield: 30 mini cupcakes

Raspberry Sauce
6 oz. bag of frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoons cornstarch mixed in 1 teaspoon cold water

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring frozen berries to a slight simmer, DO NOT MIX (keep the fruit together as much as possible). Strain out seeds with a fine mesh sieve. Return sauce back to stove and add sugar and vanilla, simmer for a minute until dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture, simmer for one minute until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork until well blended and all the dry ingredients are moistened. Press 1 teaspoon of the mixture into the bottom of each mini cupcake, done easily with one thumb. Set aside.

16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. Be sure you have made the raspberry sauce first in order for it to cool.

To make the cheesecake, put the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed, gradually adding the sweetened condensed milk with the mixer on, scraping down the bowl half way through. Beat in the vanilla and eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

To assemble, spoon one level tablespoon of the cheesecake batter over each crust. Dot each cheesecake with 1/2 teaspoon raspberry sauce. Add about a teaspoon of cheesecake batter to cover. Dot a ½ teaspoon of the raspberry sauce in a few dots over the cheesecake filling. Use a thin knife (steak knife) to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.

Bake until the filling is set, about 17-18 minutes. They should look puffed initially but will return to normal after cooling. Turn off the heat and open the oven door. Let cool for 20-30 minutes. This allows the cakes to cool at a steady pace, so they won't crack. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Take a thin butter knife and go around the edge of each cheesecake to loosen. Flip the pan over onto a plate to release all cakes. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill before serving. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

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