SMiLes by Meg

Individual Raspberry-Almond Cheesecakes

Now that I’m officially back in Boston, I can finally put some serious time into learning how to work in my new kitchen. I set it up months ago and then left to travel, so I’m still figuring out where I put what and which items I stupidly decided I didn’t need in the move (I’m looking at you, rubber spatulas that I still need to replace). Overall, I’m very pleased. In the past 5 days, I’ve made a sausage broccolini rice bake, chicken curry, cauliflower cake, and these little cheesecakes.  And it’s all come out wonderful, if I do say so myself.

These cheesecakes were a spur of the moment decision. I actually have quite a few recipes backed up at the moment (so much time to bake), so I didn’t need to make something this weekend. But then Madison and I decided to throw a little housewarming/wine and cheese party, and the hostess in me is physically unable to have people over without offering them some sort of baked good. Obviously I pulled out my trusty Boozy Baker Cookbook (the best party cookbook), and these looked easy enough.

The best part about mini cheesecakes is that you don’t have to go through all of the hassle of making a big cheesecake. There are no springform pans, no allowing cakes to cool for hours in the oven only to find out it cracked anyway. Mini cheesecakes bake up nice and then can be chilled for dessert the very same night.

The cookbook said this recipe would serve 12, but I think if I had tried to make 15, the batter would have stretched that far. I had quite a bit left over at the end. So when you’re making the crusts, maybe make a couple more than 12 in case you end up in the same position.

For the crusts, start by mixing together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl with a fork until blended. Divide the mixture between 12 (or 15 or 18) lined muffin cups, pressing it into the bottom with your fingers.

Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes, and then set aside to cool.

While the crusts are cooling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Add the amaretto, eggs, and sour cream and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Divide the batter between the crusts you prepared, filling each about 2/3 full. The won’t really rise, so if you’re more at 3/4, that’s totally fine. In a blender, quickly puree all but 12 of the raspberries with the frangelico. Spoon a bit of the puree onto the top of each muffin cup and swirl with a toothpick. Place the muffin tin in a larger pan filled about 1 inch up the side with hot water. Bake in water bath in oven at 350°F for about 35 minutes, until the middles are just set. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for two hours. I left the tin in the water bath for the first hour, then took it out for the second. After two hours, transfer the muffin tin to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

When serving, top each cheesecake with one of the reserved raspberries.

Enjoy!

Individual Raspberry-Almond Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup amaretto (almond liqueur)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)

Directions:

  1. To make the crust, start by combining the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl and mixing with a fork until blended.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Divide graham cracker mixture between cups and press into bottoms using fingers.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the filling, begin by beating the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth.
  5. Add the amaretto, eggs, and sour cream and beat until smooth and creamy.
  6. Divide batter between prepared crusts, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
  7. Set aside 12 raspberries. Blend remaining raspberries with the frangelico in a blender to make a puree.
  8. Drop a spoonful of raspberry puree onto each muffin cup. Swirl with cream cheese mixture using a toothpick.
  9. Place muffin tin in a larger roasting pan filled about 1 inch high with hot water. Place muffin tin with water bath into oven and bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, until centers are just set.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours. Transfer muffin tin to refrigerator and continue to chill for at least 4 hours.
  11. Before serving, top each cheesecake with one of the reserved raspberries.

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