Goat Cheese Mini Cheesecakes

It’s been pretty hot around these parts, so my baking game has slowed considerably. While it’s true that the LA climate is milder than most of the rest of the country’s extremes, we are spoiled by it so we are extra sensitive to any deviations from the norm. One night after the heat broke I decided I needed something sweet and whipped up these goat cheese mini cheesecakes.

 

Cheesecake is delicious in the pure form, of course, but the tang of goat cheese is a nice twist. Because it is so rich, I like the idea of making two-bite sized cheesecakes in a mini muffin tin. I found this recipe on the Tartelette blog and cut it in half so it would only make one pan of them.

I’m going to get real with you here – I thought I could be lazy and not use muffin liners in the pan. “They would just look so much prettier without them,” was my other thought process. I was wrong. They are necessary. I had a hard time getting the crust portion out of the pan, even though I sprayed it with a decent coat of baking spray. This resulted in me slowly eating them out of the pan myself, one by one, instead of giving some away to others, as I had originally intended. Yikes. Use the liners. I suspect that it is also necessary to spray them, so do that too if you don’t want to be eating the paper.

Goat Cheese Mini Cheesecakes
adapted from Tartelette

Makes 24 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz goat cheese
4 oz cream cheese
*1 1/2 eggs
juice from 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)

*This is a crappy part about halving a recipe. Dividing eggs really isn’t as bad as it sounds though. Crack 3 eggs into a two-cup measuring cup and beat until well combined. The measuring cup allows you to see how much eggs you have. Carefully (be gentle! go slow or they will all sneak out) pour half of the beaten eggs out, and save the rest for your breakfast.

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a mini muffin tin with liners and also spray a little baking spray inside the liners.

Take out the goat cheese and cream cheese and put them on a counter so they can warm up to room temperature while you are working on the crust.

For the crust:
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Pulse together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a food processor until combined.

Scoop some mixture into each of the muffin liners and gently press down with your fingers or the back of the spoon to compact it into a crust.

Bake for 5 minutes. The crusts should puff up a bit.

Allow them to cool before filling.

 

Lower the oven temperature to 300° F.

For the filling:
4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
*1 1/2 eggs
juice from 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)

Beat together the goat cheese and cream cheese in a medium bowl.

Add the sugar and mix until completely smooth.

Pour in the eggs and stir until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

Add the lime juice and vanilla and mix in, stopping once to scrape the bowl.

Divide the filling evenly between the muffin cups. The cheesecakes will rise a little, but not much, so keep that in mind when filling.

Bake at 300° F for 10 minutes, then check the cheesecakes. They should have just a slight jiggle, but the edges should not move. If the edges are not set, bake for another 2 minutes at a time and then check them. The time will vary depending on your oven, but since the cheesecakes are so small they will cook pretty quickly.

Allow them to cool before taking out of the pan.

I love my cheesecake cold, so I popped them in the fridge for an hour before serving. They are great on their own, but if you want to jazz them up they are delicious with a little jam, lemon curd, or a tiny sliver of basil on top.

 
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