So after a crazy two weeks in Brunei for Raya, it's back to the UK for me. Raya is the usually the time when me and my sisters (well, one of my sisters at least) try out new recipes and despite the major lack of time, this time was no exception.
The best thing about making things around the festive period is that... its usually fairly easy to get rid of them without having to eat a ton of sugar by yourself. In our case, we made several desserts for the KTB Open House and that is what you shall be seeing over the next few weeks.
First up are these adorable strawberry swirl cheesecakes, based on this recipe. Here we go!
What you need:
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
For the topping:
170g fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar (or more, depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
For the filling:
1 kg cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Stir together with a fork until well-blended and the dry ingredients are moistened. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake until just set, 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Turn the oven down to 160C.
- Make the strawberry puree by blending the strawberries with the sugar in a blender until smooth.
- To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Blend in the sugar until smooth. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- To assemble, spoon the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner until 3/4 full. Dot 1/2 teaspoon of the strawberry puree over the cheesecake filling. use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.
- Bake until the filling is set, about 22-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill at least 4 hours before serving.
Well, there you go! A pretty easy recipe, if you ask me. The only disappointment was the strawberries, which barely tasted of anything. Just a little bit sour. Oh well, what to do. You make do with what you have, yes?
Anyways, these cheesecakes, in the words of an enthusiastic friend were "just lovely!". Having them chilled is a must, they're much better that way. But the cheesecake filling was soft and creamy and not too dense and heavy. The slightly sweet, slightly sour strawberry part made a perfect complement to the cream cheese. All in all... lovely. :)
Of course, presentation-wise, they're a bit lacking. If I had more flavourful strawberries on hand, it probably would have been nice to have a little teeny one on top of each cupcake. I also did not mix in the strawberry puree with the cheesecake filling carefully enough, so in the end, they blended too much, making the strawberry red a little paler than I would have liked. But all these are just cosmetic... the cake itself was delicious and I urge you to try it. :)
Quote of the day: Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake.