I wrote this in a post on 24 December last year:
You will have to excuse the lack of posts of late but I have been very busy, as I am sure most of you have been in the last week or two. No matter what we plan to do, we end up trying to squash too much into the lead up to Christmas.
It is not that I haven’t been cooking; quite the contrary, it feels like I haven’t stopped cooking. It’s just that I have also been eating and drinking and not taking any photos.
I think that is what the week before Christmas is always like.
One of my jobs last week was to help with sweets for a family gathering. My task was to make 24 desserts. I decided on individual cheesecakes. Luckily, there were a few left over so I was able to take a photo of one and, finally, do a post.
Before endeavouring to make the cheesecakes, I was faced with a few dilemmas.
- How much base and filling would I need for 24 individual cheesecakes?
- What would I put them in? I wanted people to be able to eat them “on the run”, therefore, I liked the idea of a container of some sort.
- Finally, the biggest dilemma of them all… How much gelatine would I use? As they were in a container, I didn’t need them to be firmly set.
I decided on 180 ml disposable wine goblets which I found at Spotlight store. They also come in a more squat version, which is what I really wanted, but after traipsing around all the local shops without luck, I decided the more up-right version would do just fine.
I decided to double a recipe suitable for a 22cm spring form pan and see how many it made. If it wasn’t enough, my plan was to race to the nearest supermarket for more ingredients. As it turned out, by doubling this recipe I made 25 individual cheesecakes. Perfect!
I found this recipe on taste.com.au. I like that site because people often review the recipes. The original recipe called for 4 gold strength gelatine leaves. One person said she only had titanium strength gelatine leaves. She used 3 and it was too rubbery. I get really grumpy with recipes which include gelatine leaves. They rarely tell you what strength and weight the leaves should be. Eventually, I decided on 3 x gold strength 2g leaves per recipe. This was perfect for what I wanted but may not be quite enough if you are making a traditional large cheesecake that needs it to be really firm.
For the topping, I went for 1½ gold strength 2g leaves x 250 mils of syrup per recipe, which, thankfully, was perfect for the cups. If you want the jelly to be firm, I would use 2 leaves.
I was attracted to this recipe because it was rose flavoured. The recipe called for 3 teaspoons of rose water. I ended up using 100 mils of rose water and, even with that amount, the cheesecakes only had a faint rose flavour.
This recipe will make one 22cm cheesecake in a spring form pan or 12 individual cheesecakes in 180mil disposable wine goblets.
- 250g plain sweet biscuits, crushed (I went for chocolate flavoured)
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
- 3 x gold-strength 2g gelatine leaves
- 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 110g caster sugar
- 100mls rosewater (Start off with less and stop adding it when you are happy with the strength. I found I needed quite a bit to get any rose flavour.)
- 300mls thickened cream
- 250 mls of strawberry syrup (see below)
- 1½ x gold strength 2g gelatine leaves.
You can decorate the cheesecakes however you wish. I went for a jelly. The original recipe called for 250g of strawberries, sliced and mixed with ½ cup of warmed strawberry jam or rose petal jelly.
- Combine the crushed biscuits and butter.
- Divide into 12 equal quantities and press into the base of 12 disposable goblets.
- Place gelatine in a bowl of cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water.
- Return gelatine to bowl and pour over ¼ cup boiling water. Whisk with a fork until smooth, then cool slightly.
- Whiz the cream cheese and sugar in a food processor until smooth.
- Add the cooled gelatine and rosewater. Process to combine.
- Whip the cream until slightly thickened.
- Add the cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
- Pour equal quantity of the filling over each crumb base.
- Chill for, at least, several hours or overnight.
- To make the strawberry syrup, you need 500g of strawberries, 135g sugar and 80mls water.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Wash and hull strawberries.
- Place the strawberries in a single layer in a baking dish, skin side up.
- Sprinkle over the sugar, then pour over the water.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until the strawberries are tender and a syrup has formed.
- Set aside to cool.
- Measure out 250 mls of syrup from the roasted strawberries.
- Heat ¼ cup of the syrup in the microwave until hot (about 60°C).
- Place gelatine in a bowl of cold water, stand for 5 minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water.
- Return the gelatine to the bowl and pour over the hot syrup.
- Whisk with a fork until smooth then add the mixture to the rest of the syrup. Stir to combine.
- Very gently pour equal amounts of jelly over each cheesecake. I added a couple of rose petals to each cheesecake. Alternatively, top with a couple of the roasted strawberries before pouring on the syrup.
- Refrigerate several hours before serving.