As we have had the fortune of doing in the past, we spent Canada Day with some dear friends of ours. It was a potluck and as luck would have it Toby and our host were speaking on the phone before anyone else had confirmed. What could we bring? Toby's response - we'll bring the desserts. (Oh and just so you know, our hosts have an awesome blog themselves over here lots of lovely recipes and such)
For my US friends, especially the one who asked what Canada Day was!, like US Independence Day, Canada Day is a day to celebrate our becoming a nation with the requisite ceremonial blowing up of things and also by LOADS of red and white.
|Q says Happy Canada Day!|
But this is about the desserts...
I was thinking of a recent twitter conversation I had with @omakase_ninja about how "smaller" treats were better: his logic, based on an article we were reading was that you could eat more and not feel guilty; my logic was that you could try different flavours.
|This (plus two eggs) will be cheesecake|
So changes I made - no chocolate wafers here but I had some left over graham cracker crumbs so used that instead. A little less sugar too because I think graham cracker crumbs are pretty sweet, and in all honesty I've never had anyone complain that a dessert I made wasn't "sweet enough."
Like the blogger, I didn't use orange zest, opting for the more universal vanilla. You see I wanted to use raspberries on some, strawberries on others. Cherries were also considered but decided against for no better reason than I had no cherry jam. Different flavours means less guilt in having more than one right? Oh and I made a double batch of the Food Network recipe as I was aiming for 24 mini cheesecakes (the size of my mini cheesecake pan). I ended up with 22.
So here's the recipe with my modifications.
Tools: mini muffin pan and a baking sheet with a rim.
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
(okay, I REALLY wish recipes would just all go by weight of ingredients that are larger than a tablespoon but that's a whole other vent)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (yep, I use C for the weather, kgs for my weight, cms for my height and F for baking!)
Mix the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter. Spray the mini muffin pan liberally with baking spray or use your favourite grease-type-product. I used spray.
Portion out the crumbs to fill the mini muffin cups. Again, I was comfortable with the volume in 22 (the other two I put some water in when baking - not sure where I picked that info up from but there you go).
Press the crumbs down firmly. I found that using a shot glass (well, whisky snifter actually) with parchment paper wrapped 'round the bottom worked great. Put the pan in the oven for about 5 minutes to set the crusts. NOTE be sure the crusts are cool before adding the filling!
Put the mini muffin pan on the baking sheet with the rim. My pan has 24 spots and so this worked beautifully. If you're doing 12 then a smaller baking dish should work. Pour the filling into a measuring cup or something similar (a vessel with a spout). Portion out the filling.
Right before it goes in the oven add enough water onto the baking sheet to come halfway up the sides of the mini muffin pan. Or, forget about reading that like I did and just make sure there's enough water to cover the sheet and not spill when moving it from the counter to the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes. Put the mini muffin pan on a rack to cool for about 30 minutes then in the freezer for another 15. I used a small offset spatula to loosen the cheesecakes from the pan. They popped out and I put them in little red and white paper cups.
Just before service I topped each with a bit of jam and some fruit. They were a HUGE hit, especially with the kids but they were very fiddly to make. I'll definitely do them again when the presentation matters but not as an everyday kind of dessert.
|found a place for the cherries too|