I love using my mini springform pans to make little cheesecakes. They freeze beautifully, and when we want a little cheesecake for dessert, I just take one out and let it thaw on the counter for a few hours. There’s another advantage to making minis: it gives me an opportunity to experiment.
Kraft Foods has developed a recipe specifically for mini springform pans. You can pick from a variety of flavors (citrus, chocolate chunk, cookies and cream, chocolate royale, peanut butter, mocha and cherry) to customize each mini cheesecake. Instead of using their flavor profiles, I developed my own (mocha peanut butter and New York vanilla bean). Both were firm, creamy and delicious. You can follow the instructions for the original Kraft recipe, or mine, below. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
|Mini Cheesecakes: Mocha Peanut Butter and New York Vanilla Bean |
Adapted from kraftfoods.com
Rating: 9 out of 10
|INGREDIENTS: 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs |
3 Tbsp. sugar
3-1/2 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2-1/2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided use
2 Tbsp. + 3/4 cup sugar, divided use
1 tsp. coffee essence (equal parts coffee brandy and instant coffee granules)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 (8 oz.) pkgs. Neufchatel cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup lite sour cream
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp. high-quality vanilla extract or paste)
1 tsp. vanilla powder
Heat oven to 300F. Mix cracker crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and melted butter; divide equally among 5 springform pans (or use a large custard cup or other oven-proof dish for the fifth). Press mixture onto bottom of each pan. Bake about 7 minutes, or till set.
In medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla; set aside. In medium-large bowl, beat cheese and 3/4 cup sugar with mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just till blended. Pour 1/2 of batter (about 2 cups) into peanut butter-chocolate mixture in medium bowl and whisk till smooth. To remaining batter, add 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 tsp. flour, vanilla scrapings and powder, and mix on low speed till thoroughly combined. (Put the vanilla pod in your sugar canister to make delightful vanilla-scented sugar, or grind it up finely with some powdered sugar to make vanilla powder.)
Pour batter over cooled crusts. There will be some of each left for the fifth crust.* Pour the vanilla batter in first, then the chocolate, and swirl it together. Place the pans on a cookie sheet and bake 35-40 minutes, or till centers are still a little jiggly. (The vanilla may be done sooner, so be prepared to remove it if you need to.) Run a knife around rims of pans to loosen cakes as soon as you remove them from the oven; cool completely on wire rack before removing rims. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Yield: 5 mini cheesecakes
*Kraft does not allow for the fifth mini-cake. But when you add the extra ingredients, there is too much batter for the four pans. I put my extra batter into a large custard cup.