This month my cupcake calendar came up with a more unusual type of cupcake, one which I’d never thought of doing before. The idea was to make little cheesecakes in cupcake cases – an actually very simple idea, but not something I’ve seen before. I didn’t follow the recipe in terms of ingredients much, I just used a basic baked cheesecake mixture that I’ve done before, but made it in cupcake cases instead of a large cake tin.
I wasn’t sure how they would turn out, but in the end they worked pretty well. A few had issues coming out of the tin – I think the key was to make sure no mixture spilled over the side when I poured it in or during the baking as the mixture rose slightly, because this left a sticky residue between paper and tin. The taste was delicious, just like any other baked cheesecake. These would be handy to serve at a buffet or party where there are lots of different choices and you’d like to try a little bit of a few things – no more trying to cut a small slither of a big cheesecake and it ending up disheveled!
Here’s the recipe…
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 125g margarine
- 200g soft cheese (Philadelphia-style)
- 100ml soured cream
- 100g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- blueberries to decorate
- Put cupcake cases into a 12-hole muffin tin and pre-heat the oven to 160ºC (fan).
- Put the digestives in a large bowl and crush them into crumbs using the end of a rolling pin.
- Melt the margarine in a smaller bowl in the microwave and add to the biscuit crumbs.
- Mix until well combined and stiff, then spoon into the cake cases and press down with your fingers to make the base.
- Mix the soft cheese, soured cream and sugar together, then beat in the eggs and vanilla essence.
- Pour the mixture into the paper cases on top of the biscuit base.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until just golden on top.
- Turn the oven off and leave the cakes to cool in there until they are cool enough to remove without oven gloves.
- Remove the cakes from the tin.
- Decorate each cake with a few blueberries or other fruit.
- Store in the fridge until eaten.
This week we are having friends round for Sunday lunch, and this reminded me of a pudding that my mum used to make quite often when we had friends or family round for Sunday lunch when I was a child. I don’t think the recipe was ever written down, or at least she taught it to me without looking at a recipe, so it’s a bit like an oral legend that was passed down a generation. If I remember rightly, it was in fact the son of one of her friends who once made it in a home economics lesson (ah remember when it was called home ec. and not food technology or something like that?!) He’d done it as part of a project on food suitable for diabetics, and my parents were interested in the recipe because my dad is diabetic.
In outline it’s a biscuit base (using plain biscuits like digestives which don’t have too much sugar in them, though I like to use Hobnobs too to give it a bit of oatiness), and a topping that’s made from a sachet of dried sugar-free jelly, made up not with a pint of boiling water, but instead with a small amount of water and the rest cottage cheese and double cream. It sets in the fridge like ordinary jelly does. If you’re not convinced that this sounds delicious, let me try and persuade you that it is! I’ve written the recipe below, but I guess the best way to believe me would be to try it for yourself. Go on, it’ll be yummy!
This is the first time I made this since Andrew’s been eating solids, though I’m not sure why I haven’t done it yet because it’s of course good that it doesn’t have much sugar in. The sweetness comes partly from the biscuits which have a little in, and from the sweeteners that make the jelly sweet. And of course the fruit used to decorate it. What other flavours do you think would be nice to try? Do you think a particular colour of jelly would go down well with you or your family?
- 20 biscuits like Hobnobs or digestives.
- 100g butter or margarine
- 150ml boiling water
- 300g cottage cheese
- 150ml double cream
- 1 dried sachet (which makes a pint) of sugar-free jelly (I chose raspberry this time, but you can use any flavour of jelly that you’d like for a cheesecake)
- Crush the biscuits into crumbs using the end of a rolling pin and a large bowl, big enough that it catches the inevitable flying crumbs when they’re created from the biscuits.
- Melt the butter/margarine and add to the biscuit crumbs.
- Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of a suitable dish – I used a circular Pyrex one.
- Empty the sachet of jelly into a measuring jug. Add the boiling water and stir until the powder has all dissolved.
- Sieve the cottage cheese – I know this sounds odd, but by pushing it through a sieve using the back of a spoon until it’s all passed through, you end up with a nice smooth consistency rather than the lumpiness from the pot. Add the sieved cheese to the jelly mixture and stir well to make sure there are no lumps.
- Add the double cream to this mixture and stir until it’s mixed in well.
- Pour the mixture onto the base in the dish and leave it to chill for a few hours in the fridge.
- Once set, decorate with fruit (I chose red grapes to go with the pink colour of the cheesecake).