The temperature was expectedly cooler today and so I baked some little cheesecakes to take to Nibbles & Drinks. In truth, the oven was only baking for 15 minutes, so I might have managed it whatever the weather. I was browsing recipes on The Internet and I had no idea what I wanted to cook until I found Mini Jaffa Cheesecakes. Of course, I can't have oranges, but they are delicious and a nice change from lemon for my friends. Although the recipe calls for a mixture of cream and ricotta cheeses, you could easily use just cream cheese if that is what you have.
I liked the idea of using Chocolate Ripple biscuits (I think these are chocolate wafer biscuits in the US, different to our wafers though) for the base: no crushing, or processing, or melting butter. The biscuits were just a tad too big to fit into the paper cases and so I just trimmed about half a centimetre around the circumference. I just did it by eye and thought that if they were wonky, the cheesecake mixture would fill in any gaps. And it did. I used some great foil cases with a paper insert.
The recipe was very accurate. I used an ice-cream scoop to fill the paper cases and it made exactly 12. I think my scoop is 1/4 of a cup. After they came out of the oven I put them in the fridge for 3 hours and then they were so easy to remove from the cases.
I decorated them with some cream, a little dusting of Dutch cocoa powder and some orange zest in toffee. If I wasn't being so tizzy I would just scatter the orange zest over the cream, and really I would have crushed some actual Jaffas if I could have found any in the supermarket. I could not.
These can be made a day in advance, but I don't think they would freeze very well at all.
Mini Jaffa Cheesecakes makes 12
- 12 Chocolate Ripple biscuits
- 250g cream cheese, softened
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- zest of one orange
- 3 eggs
Put the 12 paper cases into a muffin tin and then trim the Chocolate Ripple biscuits so they fit snugly into the base of each case.
Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced. Put the cheeses, sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest into a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. If you don't have a food processor, use your mix-master or even hand mixer.
Add the 3 eggs and process on pulse, or low speed, for a few seconds at a time: just until the eggs are incorporated. This is so you don't add too much air into the batter. There was still some egg at the sides and so I poured the mixture into a bowl and used a spatula to finish off combining.
An ice-cream scoop, just filled, was perfect for pouring the cheesecake into each case. I did have to scrape the bottom of the bowl for the last one, but it was a perfect amount. Bake for 12-15 minutes. They should still have a wobble in the centre, and will firm up as they cool. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
The mini cheesecakes come out of the paper cases very easily when they have been refrigerated. They slightly shrink, and any gaps in the bases are filled by the cheesecake mixture.
Decorate as you wish, and enjoy!!
And here is some incidental hand modelling and gesturing. We all like doing a little $ale of the Century gesturing!!!