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
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
For the topping
Fresh strawberries and raspberries
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your name and address and I can post out your book this week. Well done!