Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mini Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes

In January my sister, some friends and I ventured to London to see The Spice Girls Musical. To make our day more special we also went for afternoon tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire hotel on Leicester Square. Unfortunately one of our friends couldn't make it as they were snowed in. We had the best day and I was really sad she couldn't make it, so I decided I would host an afternoon tea at my house so she didn't completely miss out.

I knew I wanted to make mini cheesecakes and toyed with the idea of making fridge-set ones, but decided baked ones are always best.


This recipe makes 12 mini cheesecakes.
Recipe adapted from 'Saved by Cake' by Marian Keyes.

For the base
8 Digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter

For the cheesecake
250g mascarpone cheese
200g full fat cream cheese
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean

For the topping
Fresh strawberries and raspberries


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake cases.

2. Place the digestives in a food processor and pulse until the crumbs are fine. If you don't have a food processor you can put the biscuits in a sandwich bag and roll over with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a pan (or microwave) and mix with the crushed biscuits. Place a heaped spoonful of the mixture into each cupcake case and press until it makes an even base. Put aside whilst you make the cheesecake filling.

3. Place the cheeses in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer!) and beat until combined. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and the vanilla seeds. Beat until combined and smooth.

4. Spoon the cheesecake mix into the cases, filling almost to the top. They won't rise so there's no danger of them overflowing.

5. Boil a kettle (but don't actually let it reach boiling point!) Place the cupcake pan into a large roasting tin and carefully fill with the water from the kettle, until it reaches 3/4 of the way up the side of the cupcake pan. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until set.

6. Remove from the oven and place the cupcake pan on a cooling rack. Leave the cheesecakes to sit in the pan until completely cool. Chill in the fridge overnight.

7. When you are ready to serve the cheesecakes, remove the cupcake wrapper (they will be slightly soggy so be careful!) and top with whole raspberries or chopped strawberries.


Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of my afternoon tea with my proper camera, but I did capture it on my iphone. I made mini brownies, vanilla cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, mini meringues and my best friend Natalie kindly made scones. I also served a selection of sandwiches - egg mayonaise, cheese and onion, cheese and cucumber and cream cheese. It was a lot of work but I felt so proud of what I'd done and the look on my friends faces when they walked in and saw the table was the best!



GIVEAWAY WINNER
Thank you for your entries to win The Big Book of Bread. I put the entrants names into a bowl and my sister kindly picked a winner! Beth you have won! Please could you email me at bakingclaire@gmail.com and let me know your name and address and I can post out your book this week. Well done!

15 comments:

  1. Cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts. These sound gorgeous, I love the flavour of vanilla. Your afternoon tea looks so lovely as well. x

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    1. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't like cheesecake?! What is there to dislike?! I love vanilla too - simple but really lovely. Afternoon tea was awesome (if I do say so myself!) x

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  2. I LOVE cheesecake - my mouth is watering looking at these. yum yum yum

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    1. Thank you Beeta! There were none left by the end of the afternoon tea - they were my favourite out of everything I'd made :]

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  3. The cheesecakes look fantastic, as does the rest of your afternoon tea!

    I love the pretty plate used in the cheesecake photo :)

    Kate

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    1. Thank you Kate :D It was hard work but I really enjoyed it, felt really good to have done it myself.

      The plate is from dotcomgiftshop! They have so many pretty plates x

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  4. oooh these look delicious! looks like you have been sharing some amazing recipes :)

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    1. Thanks Shayla :] I LOVE cheesecake!

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  5. Claire that table of treats looks awesome! Seriously impressive, your friends must have been so chuffed. Love the idea of mini cheesecakes in cupcake cases, thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Awh thank you Lauren, hard work but I really enjoyed it! It was a lovely afternoon. I could eat A LOT of cheesecake but these mini ones are a far more sensible portion! x

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  6. i'm over from lulu's wonderland, congrats on your liebster nomination! such a great way to find other amazing blogs! this feast looks divine, what lucky friends you have. i also have that tablecloth and love it!
    http://littlehouseofours.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hehe good old Next - they do the nicest homewares don't they?! I have to stay away from their website otherwise I would never have any money!

      You have the most beautiful little family x

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  7. What a fabulous looking spread! Those meringues look awesome too by the way!

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    1. Thank you Kim! I've never made meringue before so I was a bit nervous about how they'd turn out. The recipe is from Sophie, its over on her Cake Hunter blog (see first comment) and I love her idea of brushing food colouring down the sides of the piping bag x

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  8. Now that is the kind of afternoon tea I'm talking about! Your lucky friends! The meringues look awesome...plus I love your polka tablecloth!

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