By: Fatima Syed
I’ll never forget the first time I made a cheesecake. I was in my early 20s and still in undergrad, and was inviting a group of close friends over for a summer BBQ party. Several years later, those school pals are still some of my most intimate friendships, and the cheesecake recipe I adapted and perfected over the years has become almost as dear to my heart. In the seasons that followed that cheesecake debut, I have tried many iterations of the fan favourite dessert, from a lime-infused, full-sized holiday edition to experimenting with cherry-topped cupcakes. Recently, I was once again in hostess mode and I decided to create mini cheesecakes with a sweet, milky filling (as opposed to tart) and a burst of mixed berry and coconut. Whether you’re a cheesecake virgin as I was in 2014, or a passionate baker who wants to experiment with a tried and true sweet, here’s my unique spin on miniature cheesecakes.
Another point- I dislike following rules, and my recipe stays true to that aspect of my personality! While many cheesecake recipes encourage the baker to chill their cake for several hours and avoid a browned surface, the inFATuated Eats‘ version suggests otherwise. This is a recipe for an indulgent, gooey cheesecake that your guests will enjoy warm with a spoon, with yellow sugar drizzle for a nicely bronzed effect. Yellow sugar is paler in colour than brown sugar and has a tinge of a molasses taste, which lends a special flavour to this cheesecake. Prepare to watch your friends reach for seconds and thirds of dessert, so perhaps stay ahead of schedule and bake a second batch before you get the party started!
1 block of plain cream cheese
1 cup of white sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of 2 percent milk
12 sliced strawberries
Small container of blueberries
2 tbsp of yellow sugar
2 tbsp of flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs for cheesecake base
3 tbsp of butter
Start off by combining the cream cheese block with the eggs, white sugar, vanilla and cup of milk, and stirring in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk if you have one, for a smooth and creamy cheesecake filling. The trick is to work with ingredients that aren’t ice cold and are not straight out of the fridge, so allow all of your cheesecake fixings to settle down on the countertop for a few minutes before mixing. Once your cream cheese mix is nicely blended, fill a measuring cup with the butter and graham cracker crumbs and quickly microwave for 45 seconds (or warm on the stovetop). Next, take a muffin or cupcake baking tray designed for 12 cakes, and place a paper cupcake holder in each cup. Drizzle the bottom of each cupcake holder with a spoon of the butter/graham cracker crumb mixture. Next, spoon the cheesecake mixture (which should be blended, milky and soft) on top of the crumbs until the cups are half filled. Once you’ve completed this process for 12 cupcakes, take your sliced berries. Gently place a sliced strawberry in the centre of each cake, and sprinkle a few blueberries around each strawberry. Next, drizzle a few coconut flakes on each cake, and a hint of the yellow sugar on top of the cake mixture for added sweetness and a golden appearance.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and place your baking tray on the middle rack. Bake your cheesecakes for about 30-35 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are fully cooked. Cool for about 5-10 minutes, and serve warm.