Friday, November 16, 2007

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

I’m actually surprised that this is the first cheesecake recipe I've posted. I was introduced to this dessert as a child. My mom made a simple, tart cheesecake with a thick graham cracker crust. She usually decorated it with canned mandarin orange slices, and I was sometimes given the task of arranging the slices in a pretty pattern.

When I came to the U.S. I discovered many more types of cheesecake. America seems to have an obsession with the dessert, though this may be fueled by Kraft’s aggressive advertising of it's Philadelphia creamcheese. The first mention of cheesecake is found in Cato the Elder's farming manual De Agri Cultura (circa 160 BC).

These mini cheesecakes are incredibly easy and ideal for parties. You can make them several days in advance and decorate them the day they are served.

Makes 12 mini cheesecakes

storebought gingersnap or ginger cookie
12 - 16 ounces cream cheese (depending on how rich you like it), at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest (can substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2 cups sour cream or 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar to taste (optional)
1 pint raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or a combination of these

1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
2. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Place a cookie in the bottom of each liner to form the cheesecake base. Make sure the cookie fits snugly, otherwise it may float to the top during baking.
3. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs and zest. Mix well.
4. Divide batter into muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecake is set in the middle and just turning brown.
5. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight.
6. To serve top with 2 tablespoons sour cream or whipped cream and garnish with berries. You can add cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar to either sour cream or whipped cream for a hint of chocolate.


Rina said...

I lov cheese cakes dear. Thanks for the recipes. Can't wait to try.

remya said...

love these cheese cakes....urs looks sooo yumm...wish ti try smetimes....

Mansi Desai said...

I somehow couldn't develop the taste for lemon cakes..but sine last couple of months, I'm constantly developing new recipes and have acquired new tastes...your cupcakes look very delicious!

KayKat said...

Yum! I've recently gotten turned onto cupcakes after frequenting this great local cupcake bakery.

These looks truly decadent :)

s.j.simon said...

:) did you know how cheese was invented? It wasnt necessity, it was an accident, read this

Anu said...

I tried this recipe over the weekend and it was great. I made 2 batches and put a little less sugar in the 2nd one b/c I thought that the ginger snap already added a good amount of sweetness. The cheesecakes were a hit!