Cheesecake Secrets

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These miniature cheesecakes are my go-to dessert, whenever I need to make something quickly for a party or gathering. On the outset, the recipe is fairly simply – it’s a basic cheesecake batter and one-step vanilla wafer crust. Miniature cheesecakes are among the best desserts for an amateur chef like me. They taste good, they look good, and they make me look good – what more could I ask for?

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But when it comes to creating this masterpiece of decadence and creamy goodness, there are a few essential tips that will give your dish the texture and appearance of a professionally made cheesecake.

  1. THAW THE CREAM CHEESE. This is a must. The cream cheese should be at room temperature and easily mush-able. Thaw the eggs as well. Taking these couple ingredients out a few hours before baking is the best defense against clumpy batter.
  2. Beat the cream cheese before adding the other ingredients, so that everything gets incorporated well.
  3. In the end, the batter should be smooth. If you still have lumps, you can run the batter through a sieve or blend it briefly in a food processor.
  4. Don’t over-beat the batter. If you’re getting air bubbles, you’ve gone too far.
  5. Resist eating all your cheesecake straight out of the oven. Keeping it overnight in the fridge will improve and strengthen the taste and texture.

(By the way, I made half of the recipe listed at the bottom here, so my photos only have half of the amounts).

Mini-Cheesecakes

Ingredients (yields 16 mini-cheesecakes)

2 packages cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cups sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

16 vanilla wafers

Fresh fruits or fruit pie filling of choice

Directions

First, thaw your cream cheese. Have I said that enough times? Thaw the cream cheese. Look at this thawed cream cheese.

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Beat the cream cheese on low speed by itself for a few minutes, just to get it nice and fluffy. Then add in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract, and beat on low speed until the batter is smooth and silky, with neither lumps nor air bubbles. And, voila! Cheesecake batter.

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Line some muffin tins with paper cupcake liners, and place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each. You could make a graham cracker crust with crushed graham crackers and melted butter, but this is way, way easier, and it holds the cheesecake together nicely.

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Fill each muffin tin about three quarters full with batter.

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Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After they’re done, leave them in the oven with the door open for about five minutes, which will prevent them from sinking down in the middle. Then, cool the cheesecakes and keep in the fridge overnight, if possible, before eating. A few hours before serving, top with fresh fruit, or any canned fruit filling. I used raspberry here.

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And that’s all there is to it. Happy eating!

~Hafsa

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