Lemon Berry Swirl Mini Cheesecakes

Lemon berry swirl mini cheesecakes…what a mouthful!

Now, I know that beginning this blog post with a pun may have been a bit of a cheesy decision…(haha sorry I couldn’t resist) as I always tend to get mixed reviews on my quite obviously terrible puns, but I had to coax you in somehow if somehow these beautifully aesthetically pleasing cheesecakes didn’t do the job.

Sadly for me, I am still in exam mode with three left to power through next week before I can fully enjoy the summery days that Auckland has been blessed with this past week. However, I couldn’t resist facilitating the idea of fresh berry season that is upon us, and create these cute little cheesecakes for lunch with my girls tomorrow. As I usually take any chance I can get to make something of the baked goods description, I dove into this one with zeal (after a vigorous study session by the way Mum and Dad).

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Despite my greatest efforts to be healthy recently, in an attempted to attain that “summer bod”, I have actually been quite lazy with my diet and these cheesecakes and no improvement on that score. BUT… it is the weekend and for some reason that seems to justify it, because baking these on a weekday would be absurd…? I don’t know. I always seems to say that at work when I go to sell and ice-cream, justifying the customer’s purchase for them. It goes along the lines of “it’s a perfect day for it!”, or “ahh treat yourself, it’s the weekend”. Hospitality tips 101.

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In my opinion, cheesecake is the epitome of indulgence, with it’s creamy texture which just melts in your mouth upon the first bite. It’s not too sweet, yet incredibly rich and ALWAYS appropriate for any occasion. BBQ? Yes. Birthday party? Yes. Post break-up? Duh. Midnight snack? Naughty, but why on earth not!

So, these little beauties are just the ticket for anyone with a sweet tooth, GLUTEN FREE I might add, for anyone like my friends Emily and Georgia who have brought the gluten-free lifestyle to the light for me.

Here is the recipe, taken and adapted from Baking A Moment‘s cute page.

INGREDIENTS

For the Berry Swirl:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

For the Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese (brick), softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream ( I used yogurt due to absence of cream in the house)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (extract may be substituted)
  • pinch of kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

To Make the Berry Swirl:

  1. Place the berries and sugar in a small pot,  stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes, or until syrupy.  Whizz in a food chopper and strain. Cool.

To Make the Crust:

  1. Place the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process finely.  Stir in the melted butter.  Place about a tablespoon of the mixture into the each of the wells a lightly greased mini-cheesecake pan.

To Make the Cheesecake Filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
  2. Place the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed (using the paddle attachment), until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.  Stir in the cream, extract(s), and salt.
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the wells of the pan.  Drizzle with about a teaspoon of berry sauce, and swirl with a toothpick (this is the fun part).
  5.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until set around the edges, but still a little wobbly in the centre.  Chill completely in the fridge before unmolding.

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Aaaaaand…

Here is the final result…

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I’ll be honest with you, the extraction of each cheesecake was such a challenge. As a result, half of these seemingly perfect cheesecakes were actually devoid of a biscuit base…whoops. Hence why I have only shown a bird’s eye view! In my opinion, just make a big cheesecake. However, if you have a special technique on getting cheesecakes out of their little pan holes, please let me know!

Despite my slight failure, the intent was their and they tasted pretty yummy, so that is what counts, right!?

Practice makes perfect, and all that.

Evie x

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