You want a dessert that is sure to please? Try Raspberry Swirl Mini Cheesecakes.
Evyn Pearson, a student in the food and beverage program and the dietary management program at Johnson County Community College, has a recipe that is easy to pull off and makes a decadent treat.
“This was a family favorite, especially for my dad,” Pearson says. “It was always a hit.”
The cupcake form makes the cheesecakes easier to serve and clean up, yet each serving still provides that crunchy graham cracker base topped with deliciously creamy cheesecake filling swirled with a fresh raspberry sauce.
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“The swirl adds the perfect hint of sweetness to the subtle cheesecake base,” Pearson says.
After the batter is poured in, drop four to five drops of the sauce on top and use a knife to swirl, starting from the outside in a circle motion moving to the middle. Pearson prefers to use a knife over a toothpick because it doesn’t take as long andprovides a more even swirl.
About the chef
Evyn Pearson is a fifth-semester student in the food and beverage program and dietary management program at Johnson County Community College. She works as a chef and server at Elements in Richmond, Mo.
About the column
Cooking 101 is a bimonthly column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College’s Hospitality Management Program.
Raspberry Swirl Mini Cheesecakes
Makes 18 (3-ounce) mini cheesecakes
1 cup finely ground graham crackers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) raspberries
3 tablespoons sugar
4 (8-ounce) packages (32 ounces total) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped in chunks
2 tablespoons corn syrup (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
Mint, for garnish
For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on the bottoms of muffin tins so cheesecake doesn’t stick, and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the graham crackers, melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix. Firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of muffin tins using a flat-bottomed ramekin or coffee cup for pressing the crumbs evenly and tightly. Bake the crust until set, roughly 10 minutes, then allow to cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
For the raspberry sauce: Purée the raspberries, then strain out the seeds and any solids. Add sugar to the strained puree. Pour into a small saucepan and bring the raspberry sauce to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes until it has thickened slightly and then set aside to cool.
For the cheesecake: Set a kettle of water on to boil.
In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy (roughly 3 minutes). Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the 1 1/2 cups sugar in a slow steady stream. Beat in the salt and vanilla and then on low speed, beat in the eggs one at at time, adding the next after the first has been incorporated. Do not over mix as the eggs can trap air in the batter, which can lead to all sorts of cheesecake trouble.
Pour batter into prepared crusts. Dot the top of the batter with drops of the raspberry sauce and, with a knife or wooden skewer, swirl the surface of the batter to create the marbled effect. Reserve the remaining sauce for garnish.
Set the muffin tins in a roasting pan and pour boiling water halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake is puffy and set but still wobbly; cool completely.
Remove cheesecakes by using a sharp knife to go around the edges. They should slide right out with parchment paper on the bottoms of the pan.
For chocolate sauce: Heat butter and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the butter has melted, stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
For Chantilly cream: Put cream, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks begin to form.
To present this cheesecake, drizzle some of your leftover raspberry sauce on the top in one direction, then drizzle some of your chocolate sauce on it in the opposite direction. Pipe out some Chantilly cream on the side and garnish with mint.
Note: This recipe can also be made in a 9-inch springform pan. Place the 9-inch springform pan on a double layer of wide aluminum foil. Wrap up the sides of the pan to make it watertight. You don’t want any foil seams or edges on the bottom or low on the sides of the panbecause water could seep in the pan while baking.
Per mini cheesecake: 473 calories (64 percent from fat), 35 grams total fat (21 grams saturated), 144 milligrams cholesterol, 37 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 221 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.