Audrey loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients. But everyone deserves a sweet treat now and then!
The Search for the Perfect Mini Cheesecakes
What's better than cheesecake? Mini cheesecakes!
I searched and searched for a recipe that recreated the texture and taste of a New York cheesecake and experimented with a lot of different varieties—much to my dismay, as none of them quite fit the bill. They were either too soft in consistency or too bland in taste. I tweaked the recipe countless times, but could not quite get the results right. Or so I thought.
Finally, I found what I was looking for and further tweaked the recipe by cutting it in half (it makes two perfect 4-1/2 inch spring-form mini cheesecakes this way) and using the variation for New York cheesecake. However, as luck would have it, I did not have graham crackers, as I forgot that I sent them home with my son in his care package! Since it was Christmas Eve and the stores were closed, necessity became the mother of invention yet again, and I tweaked the crust.
The original recipe actually suggests making 4 of these, and you could mix and match them with the various additions or toppings suggested for a lovely variety and presentation.
I also decided that since I was already tweaking the recipe, I might as well go all the way, so I threw in some white chocolate chips to add to the New York variation. The result was absolutely wonderful. There was not a morsel left, so that must be a good sign.
Mini Cheesecake Recipe (New York White Chocolate)
This recipe makes two 4-1/2 inch spring-form cheesecakes - New York style with white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup ground granola crumbs mixed with ground hazelnuts (note below)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine melted
- 1 1/2 packages (8 ounces each) of non-fat (Neufchatel) cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoons egg (or 6 tablespoons of egg substitute)
- 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) sour cream (I used nonfat)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons flour
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 300˚F.
- Mix together the crust ingredients.
- Divide the crust between two 4-1/2-inch spring-form cheesecake pans and press the crumbs onto the bottom of the spring-form pans.
- Bake in 300˚F oven for 7 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer or use a hand mixer to beat. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
- Add eggs or egg substitute in parts, mixing on low speed until blended.
- Stir in the sour cream, flour, and white chocolate chips to combine.
- Divide the batter in half—should be about 1 cup per cheesecake of batter. Pour over the 2 crusts.
- Place the cheesecake pans onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake at 300˚F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake is almost set. I let them sit in the oven after I turned it off for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Use a knife or metal spatula to run around the sides of the pan to loosen it.
- Pop the spring-form rims once the cakes are cooled.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Note: The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs, chocolate graham cracker crumbs, or chocolate wafer cookies, but you can basically substitute bread crumbs, vanilla wafer crumbs, etc. I had absolutely none of the above, so I decided to just be creative and thought hazelnuts sounded like a great substitute as well as ground-up dry granola. I put them in my mini food processor and the resultant ground crumbs were just perfect in consistency for the recipe.
I found the original recipe at dianasdesserts.com and as mentioned above, modified the recipe to make less and changed the ingredients to fit what I have/how I cook, etc. She had a lot of great suggestions for toppings and additions, though, so I've thrown some of them in here as well.
Her recipe (see link) makes 4, and her suggestion is to make 4 different ones, which would be a great idea as well. You would just use about 1 cup of batter for each cheesecake.
Stir-In Additions and Topping Ideas
- Apple Pie Mini Cheesecake: Stir in ground cinnamon to batter; bake as directed. Top cheesecake with warmed apple pie filling and brown sugar.
- Chocolate Chunk Mini Cheesecake: Stir milk chocolate chunks into the batter and bake as directed.
- Citrus Mini Cheesecake: Stir in lemon, orange, or lime juice in the batter along with flour and grated citrus peel; bake as directed.
- S'mores Mini Cheesecake: Stir in milk chocolate chunks; bake as directed. Top with miniature marshmallows and broken graham crackers.
- Cookies and Cream Mini Cheesecake: Stir in chopped cookies like Oreos, Nutter Butter, or Chips Ahoy/other cookies; bake as directed.
- Chocolate Royale Mini Cheesecake: Stir in semi-sweet baking chocolate melted; bake as directed.
- Peanut Butter Mini Cheesecake: Stir in peanut butter and milk; bake as directed.
- Mocha Mini Cheesecake: Stir in instant coffee granules, hot water, and semi-sweet baking chocolate melted; bake as directed
- Fresh fruit makes a simple yet delicious topping. Pretty much any kind works, just make sure it's washed and dried.
- Pie filling also makes an excellent topping for cheesecakes. Just make sure you drain off some of the liquid.
- Poached pears or other poached fruit also make an excellent topping, but go easy on the liquid if you want to preserve the New York cheesecake texture.
- Spread a thin layer of sour cream atop the cheesecakes.
- Chocolate sauce or any nut sauce
- Vanilla sauce or caramel sauce
- Fruit sauce of any kind
- Lemon curd in small amounts can also be very delicious on cheesecake (would probably be excellent on the citrus variation above).
- Sprinkle with nuts of any kind for a very simple topping
- Sprinkle with shaved chocolate
- Drizzle melted chocolate of any kind for a dramatic presentation
© 2009 Audrey Kirchner