In the discussion thread of the cheesecake with homemade blueberry topping recipe, reader AJ shared a recipe for white chocolate cheesecake. Mini-cheesecakes, actually, or cheese cupcakes if you prefer, because they are baked in a muffin pan. I made them today and they are as magnificent as AJ said. In fact, even without the blueberry topping, they would be wonderful.
The recipe provided by AJ yields six mini cheesecakes. Six meant one mini cheesecake per person in my household. Great if it’s a so-so cake but if someone asks for seconds, or if someone wants another piece for a late night snack, I’d get blamed for not baking enough. So I added more of each ingredient to come up with more mini cheesecakes. I was able to make a dozen with some excess filling which I baked, without crusts, in silicone cups. My daughter Sam and I ate the excess straight out of the oven — still soft and gooey and steaming hot at the center. If the crustless no-topping version could be that good, well…
I would have preferred to make it total experience by making everyone wait until the mini cheesecakes have chilled sufficiently. I was going to serve them for dessert tonight but half of the mini cheesecakes became the mid-afternoon snack.
For the crust:
1-1/4 c. of Graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. of melted butter
For the filling:
1 c. of white chocolate morsels
500 g. of cream cheese
3/4 c. of sugar (I’ll reduce this to 1/2 c. next time)
1/2 c. of cream
1 tsp. of finely grated orange rind
For the topping:
1 c. of frozen blueberries, thawed and drained
Preheat the oven to 150oC (about 300oF).
Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cups. Bought my “smiley” papercups from Living Well, Mall of Asia branch, in case you want to know. Most people ask about these things so I’m saving myself the trouble of posting the answer several times in the comment thread.
Mix together the Graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Place a tablespoonful of the mixture into each paper-line muffin hole and press down with you fingers to form the crust. Cool in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Melt the white chocolate. Now, the original recipe does not specify how to melt the white chocolate. I did the most convenient method by placing it in the microwave oven. Now, here’s the surprising result. After 80 seconds on HIGH, a small light brown crust formed on top of the softened white chocolate morsels. As as I was about to scrape it off, I decided to taste it. Wow! Not burned at all! Rather, it was crispy. I ditched the idea of scraping it off. Instead, I broke it up and stirred it in with the rest of the white chocolate. The little bits retained their crispness after baking and they really added a nice texture to the creaminess of the filling (you can see some of these brown bits in the photo above). Amazing what a little kitchen accident could lead to.
Oh, but I digress. So, the white chocolate is soft and you stir it and let it cool a bit while you go about completing the filling.
Place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat (I used a hand mixer) until light and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the eggs. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and free from lumps. Finally, pour in the melted chocolate, half cup of cream and add the grated orange rind. Mix until blended.
Pour 1/4 c. of the filling into the muffin pan holes with the chilled crusts. Muffin pans vary in sizes so 1/4 c. would be a relative amount. Let’s just say pour enough filling almost to the brim. This cake only rises ever so slightly since only the eggs will expand. So, a margin of about 1/4 inch from the brim is just about right.
Divide the blueberries into as many holes you were able to fill and scatter on top of the filling.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes (I baked mine for 35 minutes but I think I should have extended the baking time for another 10 minutes so that the centers would have been a bit more firm). No baine marie but position the oven rack at the middle and place the muffin pan right at the center of the rack. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecakes cool slowly inside for about an hour. Take out of the oven, cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.