These little cuties here where a goodbye present for Liliane. I promised her to bake something especially for her before she is going to leave. With some people, I instantly know what kind of cake or pastry I want to bake for them and for Liliane, I thought, these little cheesecakes would be just perfect. When I brought them over to her office on Monday morning, she smiled at me and said that she loves cheesecake. "Well, everyone does." I said to her. "Can't go wrong with cheesecake." And it's true - I hardly know anyone who would turn down a piece of cheesecake. I loved the idea of baking little cheesecakes in a muffin pan. And, tell you what, if you buy the dough instead of making it yourself, these cheesecakes won't take up much of your time. Add a dollop of jam. The cream is easily whipped up. And there you go. Depending on the season, you can fill them with different sorts of jam or add some spices.
(from Weihnachten mit Fräulein Klein)
50g ground almonds
50g icing sugar
120g cold butter
12 teaspoons jam (any kind you like, I used cherry jam)
350g cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia)
100ml condensed milk
1 vanilla pod
2 teaspoons flour
icing sugar and cocoa powder for decorating
Makes 12 mini-cheesecakes.
For the dough, sift flour, almonds and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the cold butter in cubes and knead until you have a smooth dough. Form a ball, flatten a little, wrap in cling film and cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
You can, of course, also just use store bought dough like I did this time because I was too lazy to make my own dough.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out your dough until about 4mm thick and cut out circles of about 9cm diameter. If you have spare dough, cut out stars or hearts or whatever motive you like with a smaller cookie cutter.
Grease a muffin pan and line each mould with a strip of parchment paper which overlaps the mould. You will have less troubles releasing the cheesecakes from the mould after baking. Line each mould with a dough-circle and prick the bottom with a fork. Put in the refrigerator or outside in the cold.
For the filling, mix cream cheese, condensed milk, sugar, scraped out seeds of the vanilla pod, egg and flour until you have a smooth batter.
Fill a teaspoon of jam into each cheesecake-bottom. Then, fill with the cream. Bake for about 30 minutes. Bake your little cookies also, but remember that they will be finished after a few minutes and that you have to take them out earlier. Dust them with cocoa powder and leave to cool.
After about 30 minutes, take out your cheesecakes. Let cool a little. Then, release from the muffin pan. You can lift them out of the moulds by pulling on the ends of your parchment paper-strips. Dust with icing sugar before serving and decorate with your little cookies.