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Just three cheesecakes

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am not a big fan of cheesecakes – I would rather eat cheese on its own – but out of the blue, I had a craving for cheesecake. Maybe because I saw this recipe at I tell myself I am not influenced by pretty pictures, but in this case I was. For shame!
But upon reading the recipe, I saw that it wasn't complicated, there was no long baking in a water bath, and, best of all, I could scale the recipe down to make only three mini cakes.
For the biscuit base, the original recipe uses an actual biscuit (cookie) – Arnott's Granita biscuit. A whole biscuit is placed in the base of the muffin mould and the cheese mixture is spooned on top before baking. The biscuit softens in the heat of the oven. 
I just happened to have leftover crumbs from a homemade digestive biscuit dough (recipe below) and used that instead. These digestives taste just like the commercial type although mine didn't look like those. But The Little Loaf, where I got help with the recipe, managed to replicate it quite well and even added an interesting design.
Chilled and ready for the fruit garnish
With these mini cheesecakes, it's important to pay attention to the baking time. As soon as the tops start to dome and crack a little, the cakes should come out of the oven. The filling will be a little jiggly, but it will firm up as the cakes cool. The top will flatten out as well and provide a level surface to pile on the fruit. I've used mango and a little bit of passion fruit pulp plus a sprinkling of more digestive crumbs.
For my personal taste, I thought the cheese was a little too rich and I could only manage half the cake. Perhaps that richness needed to be balanced with a more tart fruit, or more lemon juice can be added. I'll consider that next time.
Rich and creamy
Mini Baked Cheesecakes
Based on a recipe at
Makes 3

125g cream cheese, at room temperature
55g caster sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 egg
½ cup Wholemeal Digestive Biscuit crumbs (recipe follows)
Fruit and icing sugar, to serve

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 3 ramekins each with 2 paper cases.
Use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until light and creamy. Beat in the egg just until combined.
Divide the biscuit crumbs between the paper cups. Tamp down with the base of a drinking glass. Top with the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly risen and just beginning to crack a little on the surface.
Set aside for 10 minutes, before removing the cheesecakes from the ramekins (leave the paper cases on) and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Top with fresh fruit (sliced if large) and dust with icing sugar just before serving. If there are leftover digestive biscuits, crumble them on top of the fruit for crunch. 
Digestive biscuits
Wholemeal Digestive Biscuits
From a recipe at The Little Loaf

100g rolled oats, lightly toasted
100g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g soft brown sugar
Pinch salt
100g salted butter, cubed
1-2 tbsp milk

Process the oats to a fine powder in a food processor. Add wholemeal flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt to the food processor and pulse to mix. Add the cubes of butter. Pulse several times until mixture is crumbly. While the motor is running, add the milk a little at a time until a smooth dough forms.
Use ½ cup crumbs for the base of the 3 Mini Baked Cheesecakes.
If making digestives, proceed to wrapping the dough in cling film; refrigerate it until firm, about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. There are two ways to shape the cookies:
  1. Place the dough between two pieces of cling film. It will be very crumbly. Press or roll to around 3mm thickness. Take off the top piece of cling film and cut out circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass (about 6cm in diameter). 
  2. Because the dough is crumbly, I prefer this second way of shaping. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a 6cm cookie cutter on the sheet. Place a heaped tablespoon of biscuit dough in the centre of the cutter. Using the base of a glass, tamp down the dough to flatten and compress it into a biscuit. Remove the cookie cutter carefully and repeat with the rest of the dough.
Carefully arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes. When lightly golden, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. If desired, spread one side of the cookies with melted chocolate for chocolate digestives.


  1. Very nice! I like the fact that it is in individual servings! Looks yummy although I agreed this is a very rich cake...better to bake cotton cheesecake, less fattening:D Once in a bluemoon indulgence is fine I guess.

  2. Absolutely delicious looking, Jane! I love the addition of mango and passion fruit, just my thing! And they look adorable!


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