Mini Cheesecakes

by tina

This was my first attempt ever for cheesecakes. And in preparation for more cheesecake making to come, I had just ordered a mini cheesecake pan on Amazon :D so excited.

Recipe adapted from (allrecipes.com). 
This recipe was pretty easy to follow, but I wished it had been a little more specific in some areas.

Ingredients:

Base crust portion

  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Cheesecake portion

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I used a little less than 1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Part 1: Base crust

I crumbled the graham crackers with the side of the rolling pin (used it like a pestle and mortar. pestle=>rolling pin, mortar=>cutting board)

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a mixing bowl, first mix the graham crumbs and sugar well* with a fork. Then add the melted butter in and mix very thoroughly.

*I mixed everything together because the recipe didn’t specify, but I noticed that the sugar didn’t seem to be mixed evenly in the end, so mixing the crumbs and sugar first would minimize this problem.

Measure a tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each baking/muffin cup. Evenly distribute the rest into the cups. Press the graham crumbs down as firmly as you can.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 mins, then remove from oven and let it cool. Keep the oven on.

Part 2: Cheesecake

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla on low speed (speed 1/2 with stand mixer) until fluffy (left picture). Be careful not to over-mix*. 

Add the egg  in and mix on low speed (speed 1). It’ll look weird and gooey at first. But after a few minutes of mixing, it will look like the picture (on the right).

*Over-mixing may cause the cheesecake to rise like a souffle when baked. That’s what happened to mine. I did beat the ingredients together like crazy because that’s how I thought it was supposed to be done. But afterwards I read on a few sites and it says that over-mixing incorporates additional air and tends to cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake.

Use a spoon to place the cream cheese mixture into the muffin cups. Smooth out the tops of mixture in the cups as much as you can*.

Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan before removing (about 1 hour). Then refrigerate until ready to serve.

*I didn’t know that cheesecake mixture doesn’t settle that well and smooth itself out when baked, or else I would’ve smoothed it and would not have had a rumpley (and slightly overbaked) result. haha.

Result after cooling and refrigerating for 1 hour. I added chopped walnut and blueberries at the top. ^_^

Despite the over-mixing and slightly over-baking, it still tasted pretty good in my book.

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