Saturday, April 24, 2010


These mini cheesecakes are wonderful! Very simple and I definitely encourage you to try them!

from Junior's Cheesecake Cookbooks by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen


6 ounces (about 2/3 cup) dry-pack frozen whole strawberries(unsweetened, not in syrup)thawed and drained well
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature, (use only full fat)
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 recipe Junior’s Signature Strawberry Sauce (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13 muffin cups with silicone, foil, parchment or paper liners. (If you only have 12, use a custard cup for the extra batter)

2. Pulse the thawed strawberries in food processor until smooth (you need 1/3 cup of puree). Set aside.

3. Put one package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a few times. Blend in the remaining package of cream cheese. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until it is completely blended. Be careful to not overmix!

4. Divide the batter among the 13 muffin cups. Drop a heaping teaspoon of the puree in the center of each, pushing it down slightly. Using a small knife, cut through the batter just until pink swirls appear. (Do not mix in the puree completely or the cakes will turn pink and the swirls will disappear). Place the muffin tin in a large shallow pan, place pan in the oven, then add hot water until it comes about 1 inch up the sides of the tin.

5. Bake the cakes until set and slightly puffy and golden with red strawberry swirls, about 45 minutes. Remove the cakes from the water bath, transfer the tin to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours. Cover the cakes with plastic wrap (do not remove from the tin) and put in the freezer until cold, at least 1 hour. In the meantime, make the strawberry sauce if you wish.

6. To remove the cakes, lift them out of the cups with your hands and peel off the liners. Place the cakes, top side up, on a serving platter or individual dessert plates and refrigerate until ready to use. If there are any cakes left over, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator, or wrap and freeze up to 1 month.

Junior’s Signature Strawberry Sauce

• 2 quarts fresh ripe strawberries
• 1 cup cold water
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 2 to 3 drops red food coloring (optional)
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon pure lemon extract
1. Wash, sort through, hull, and slice the berries 1/2 inch thick, vertically from top to tip, into a large bowl.
2. Bring ¾ cup of the water and all the sugar to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan over high heat.
3. Boil for 5 minutes.
4. Mix cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup water together in a cup until the cornstarch thoroughly dissolves and mixture thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes.
5. Remove the syrup from the heat and whisk in the food coloring if you wish.
6. Stir in the extracts and gently fold in the strawberries.
7. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month

MY COOKS TIPS- I followed recipe exactly- and the batter filled 12 muffin tins and 2 custard cups. From previous cheesecake experience, be sure you don't skip on the water bath- your cheesecake won't be moist and it will crack if you don't use it!

The only complaint was "Mom! Why didn't you make a double batch!?" haha My husband said you wouldn't be able to find anything better at the cheesecake factory, so that was definitely a compliment. I think next time I honestly won't bother with the signature sauce as I felt it had so much sugar. I will just use fresh strawberries and slice then sprinkle a little sugar on top to pull out all the juices. These mini cheesecakes were definitely a winner, and I look forward to trying the next recipe from this cookbook!

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