So I've been making cheesecakes for quite awhile now, and I wanted to try making mini cheesecakes using the same recipe as the bigger version. To make a long story short, I was experimenting this past weekend with various flavors and recipes, and I thought I would post this one first. This is a flavor I have wanted to try for a long time - I thought it would be something more exciting rather than the same old chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc. I have to say that it turned out pretty good. I did make some adjustments based on the recipe I used and I think this one should do it. So I hope you enjoy - these are certainly much more easier to make than large cheesecakes and bake much more faster (20 minutes vs. 1.5 hours!). And let's not forget they are just so cute and perfect for one serving! Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
¼ sour cream/whipping cream
2 tbsp all-purpose flour (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners (foil liners are preferable).
With a mixer in a mixing bowl, on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed.
Add the vanilla. Then, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Again, scrape the bowl as needed.
Finally, add the sour cream and flour (if using) and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
Divide the filling evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until the cheesecakes are just set in the center, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cheesecakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, transfer the cheesecakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Refrigerate the cheesecakes in an airtight container for at least overnight or up to 3 days.
I apologize for my long hiatus...I've been busy with school! But I am back!!! Here is a recipe I made awhile back and didn't have a chance to post. It was a delicious cupcake with the custard filling and rich chocolate glaze. It reminds me of the boston cream donuts you can get at Dunkin Donuts. I got the recipe from the book 125 Best Cupcake Recipes. Enjoy!
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 2 eggs 1/2 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup milk
Filling: 3 tbsp granulated sugar 2 tbsp cornstarch pinch of salt 2 egg yolks 1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup whipping cream, plus 3 tbsp divided 2 tsp unsalted butter 1/2 tsp vanilla
Glaze: 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped 1/3 cup whipping cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and milk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of milk, beating until smooth.
4. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.
5. Filling: In a heavy saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks, milk, and 1/4 cup cream until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking continously. Once mixture is at a simmer and begins to thicken, remove from heat but continue whisking until very thick. Whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is melted and custard is smooth.
6. Spoon custard into a small bowl. Fill a slightly larger bowl with ice. Place small bowl of custard on top of ice. Whisk custard until cool. Remove small bowl, dry bottom and sides with a towel so that no moisture gets inside the bowl. Whisk in remaining 3 tbsp whipping cream. Place a piece of plastic wrap on surface of custard and refrigerate for 40 minutes or until chilled, or for up to 2 days.
7. When cupcakes are cool, peel off paper liners. Carefully slice tops off cupcakes. Using a small spoon, scoop out about a rounded teaspoonful of cake from bottom half (being careful not to scoop a hole in the bottom. Spread a layer of reserved cooled on cut side of bottom half (filling small hole with custard, too). Replace tops of cupcakes over custard, sandwiching two halves together. Repeat with remaining cupcakes and custard.
8. Glaze: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 40 seconds or until cream is hot and chocolate is soft and almost melted. Stir until smooth. Let chocolate mixture sit for 5 minutes or until slightly cooled but still spreadable.
9. Spread tops of cupcakes with chocolate glaze. Place cupcakes on a platter or baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to serve. These cupcakes need to stay refrigerated so that the custard filling doesn't spoil. They can be served straight from the refrigerator or set out at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving to remove the chill.
There is only one word to describe this cake: AMAZING. The next thing you should know is that I got this recipe from the book called Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. If you are a chocolate lover, you will definitely LOVE this cake. Not only is it chocolatey, it is moist, dense, and fluffy with yummy chocolate pieces. I made it for my little brother's birthday, and most of the cake was gone in a day...and trust me, it's a huge 3-layer cake. It can be a bit challenging to make if you're not an experienced baker, especially the frosting/filling. I actually did not use the frosting provided in the book. In fact, Dorie Greenspan says, "the layers could be filled and frosted with almost any thick frosting." I used my own quick but delicious vanilla buttercream frosting and like I said, the cake tasted amazing. The recipe for the frosting that I used is provided below. Okay, enough of my rambling...here is the recipe --->
For the cake:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ sticks (10 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
½ cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
½ cup boiling water
4 oz semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped OR 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
For the filling and frosting:
½ cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-x-2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
To make the cake, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.
Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk/whole milk, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter.
At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate/chocolate chips. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.
8. Bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Don’t worry if the tops have a few small cracks.
9. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)
10. When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, inspect the layers. If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. With the same knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside and crumble the fourth layer; set the crumbs aside.
11. To make the filling and frosting, put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand. Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
12. When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up.
13. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable- don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on.
14. Add the vanilla and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. Although you could keep it in the fridge in a pinch, it’s really better to use it right now.
15. To assemble the cake, put a bottom later cut side up on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a long metal icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with a second layer, cut side up, and frost it. Finish with a third layer, cut side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry about smoothing the frosting- it should be swirly. Now, cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the filling with your fingers.
16. Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour before serving. (If it’s more convenient, you can chill the cake for 8 hours or more; cover it loosely and keep it away from foods with strong odors.
Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 cups icing sugar 1 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
Before I provide the recipe, I just want to remind those that are not as familiar with baking that a bundt cake is made in what is known as a "bundt pan"...it is a special ringed tube pan that has ridges in the inside (or "fluted sides") that give the cake a pretty shape when it is done. They are also very large and are able to hold a lot of batter. Therefore, they take a longer time to bake and usually develop a delicious crust on top when they are done. When checking to see if the cake is done, it won't work to insert a normal toothpick since the cake is so big and tall- you will need a long tester. This cake was very moist, dense, and had an irresistable banana flavor! I enjoyed eating it for breakfast as well as having it as a late night indulgence with a glass of milk
Note: The recipe is from another one of my favorite baking books right now- Baking: From my home to yours.
Makes 14 servings- Cut into thick slices- Can be served with coffee, tea, milk, or milkshakes For storing, wrapped airtight, the cake will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 cups sugar 2 tsp vanilla 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups) 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10- inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. Note: If you are using a silicone Bundt pan, there's no need to butter it. Also, do not place the pan on a baking sheet- you want the oven's heat to circulate through the Bundt's inner tube.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
4. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy.
5. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in.
6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas.
7. Finally, mix in half of the dry ingredients (don't be disturbed when the batter curdles), all of the sour cream or yogurt, and then the rest of the flour mixture.
8. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to debubble the batter and smooth the top.
9. Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Note: Check the cake after about 30 minutes- if it is browning too quickl, cover it loosely with a foil tent.
10. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature. Note: If you've got the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving- it's better the next day.