I’ve always been a cheesecake fan since I first tasted it. I think it started with one of the ex-boyfriends liking it so much that I would often pack a slice home from his favourite cafe to surprise him with (for doing well in tests/exams).
And then few years later, someone special surprised me with a home-baked version (read: the kind with graham cookie crust or digestive biscuit crust, as we know it)
Since then my eyes often flash in delight when I came across any baking class that offered to teach me how to do a cheesecake. I often read how ‘easy’ it was (online and off), but nothing like someone whose been there done that to show me the ropes least I get frustrated with a less than desirable outcome. I paid $75 for my first class and attempt of creating a mango cheesecake. My colleagues and friends liked it enough to nudge me to bake another few.
Soon the proposal, wedding, honeymoon and trying for a baby happened. Baking was literally the last thing on my mind (and baking a bun metaphorically was right on top).
In between I tried my hand at soufflés & chocolate ganaches but nothing like a cheesecake could satisfy that void of yearning I used to have when I was on the ‘mango cheesecake roll’.
I came across Evelyn’s post few months ago and thought to myself “no bake? I can manage this!”. I must have looked at the post for about 12 to 15 times, each time reminding myself to get the items during a supermarket trip but never had the confidence to go through with it. Maybe it was the jelly crystals and needing to stir and cool it before pouring it that somehow made me assume that I had to be around for longer than I would have liked in order to make this. But after attempting the below recipe, I’m now more comfortable and might in fact attempt Evelyn’s Lemon Cheese Pie this weekend!
Meanwhile, here’s a mini version I started out with in the name of becoming a more confident amateur baker. Liam had received a kids’ baking book (the kind where kids and parents are encouraged to bake together) and I was really tempted by how easy it seemed (I mean if the recipe is illustrated for 3 to 5 year olds in mind…it’s got to be easy to understand and do right?).
Mini cheesecakes (recipe adapted from Children’s book of baking cakes)
176g digestive biscuits 75g butter
450g full-fat cream cheese
125g castor sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon of vanilla essence Peaches & apricot (diced or jam) for the topping
A 12-hole deep muffin tray and 12 muffin cases
– I didn’t have a muffin tray so I used all 9 greaseproof baking cups that I had lying around
– Peaches & apricot toppings can be substituted with your favourite fruits such as blueberries or mangoes instead
1. Heat the oven to 150 degree celsius, put paper cases in the tray
2. Put digestive biscuits into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to roll over the bag to crush the biscuits (p/s: I used a meat tenderizer because it was within reach and easier for me). Alternatively you could use the food processor but mine just acted up that evening so I did it manually.
3. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat and mix in the biscuit crumbs
4. Divide the mixture into the muffin cases in the tray. Press it down with the back of teaspoon to ‘set’ it.
5. Put the tray into the fridge to chill while you make the filling
6. Put the cream cheese and sugar in a big bowl and mix together
7. Put eggs and vanilla essence in a small bowl and beat them with a fork
8. Add the egg mixture to the cheese&sugar mixture a little at a time, beating well each time
9. Spoon the mixture into the cases
10. Put the tray into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the tray in there for another 30 minutes
11. Move the cheesecakes to a wire rack to cool. Put them in the fridge to chill for 2 hours
12. Make the topping by spreading peach slices and apricot jam onto the cheesecakes
13. TIME TO EAT THEM.
I tried to video the process on instagram by alas the duration allowed was limited, hence this was the best I could do:
The Bo tried it and said they were so good that he devour more while we watched the latest episode of Newsroom (and there wasn’t enough for me to bring to the office – even though some colleagues asked me about it :p).
Passed to some mummy friends at class and they loved it too. I enjoyed every bite of the mini sized cupcakes too.
I guess it was a success!