At my church a few weeks ago I was asked to go to a careers evening and speak to teenage girls about a career as a cheesecake maker! It was quite funny since obviously that's not what I'm trained to do, but just something I got the opportunity to do this summer thanks to my sister...who is trained to do that! but I'm always up for talking about baking so I was more than happy to do it!
and of course I couldn't turn up empty handed! So for the first time in a few months it was back to cheesecake making! I opted to make mini's since they always go down well! and for the first time I made a crushed Oreo base (as opposed to crushed digestives/hob nobs) and it was delish!
Ironically the recipe I used was from a book that I received as leaving present to thank me for my time at The English Cheesecake Company! That book was 'Tea with Bea' and is an amazing collection of yummy recipes ranging from bars and cookies to cheesecakes and pies and everything in between! It features some of my all time favourite desserts like key lime pie, coconut cream pie and hummingbird cake! and teaches you to whip up homemade delights such as raspberry meringues and marshmallows to give you a little taste of what lies in store when you actually visit their shop Bea's of Bloomsbury. It is my favourite place in London to grab an afternoon tea.
If you're all busy writing your Christmas lists then I'd strongly recommend asking Santa to bring you this book, you will not be disappointed!
Mini Oreo Cheesecakes:
Adapted from 'Tea with Bea's' Vanilla cheesecake with berries recipe
For the cheesecakes:
400g Oreo cookies
100g unsalted butter
800g cream cheese
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 125 degrees c.
Crush the Oreo cookies in a food processor or with a rolling pin until they resemble fine crumbs. Add the melted butter a little at a time. Grab a bit of mixture and squeeze it in your hand to make it into a ball, then let go. The mixture should hold its shape but fall apart slightly when touched. If it doesn't hold its shape, add more butter. If it is too firm add more crushed cookies.
Press the mixture into the prepared cake tins, when I'm making mini's I use the back of a teaspoon to pat the mixture down so it's level.
Put the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat until well mixed and the sugar has dissolved. Slowly incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly until combined before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl regularly.
Sift the cornflour into the mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into your pans (I measured about 90g of cheesecake mix into each of my mini pans).
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until the middle is slightly jiggly and the top doesn't look shiny or wet (if you decide to make one whole cheesecake the recipe recommends a baking time of 1 hour 20 minutes).
For the Fudge frosting:
From 'Tea with Bea'
250ml whipping cream
65g golden syrup
350g high quality dark chocolate (I used 60%)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g unsalted butter cut into cubes and chilled
Pour the cream and golden syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil.
Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. As soon as the cream mixture has come to a boil, pour it over the chocolate. Set aside for 1 minute.
Using a small whisk, stir with very small motions keeping to the middle of the bowl. Slowly add small amounts of cream to it. Do not incorporate air and don't be tempted to stir in larger motions as this will result in unwanted air bubbles and could result in a dull grainy texture.
Keep stirring in small motions. It will look like nothing is happening until eventually a very shiny, thick glossy mixture forms. Gradually stir in wider motions to incorporate more cream until it's fully combined.
Add the vanilla extract and butter and mix until well combined.
Set aside to let the chocolate stiffen to a firm consistency before using.
Get the cheesecakes out of their pans once cool.
Cover the surface with a tablespoon of fudge frosting and add broken up pieces of Oreo.
Refrigerate until serving.
Don't be put off with the lengthy recipe here! I baked up the cheesecakes the night before and made the frosting the next afternoon just before I was going to the event. They weren't as time consuming as I expected, and got plenty of compliments all round! You can top these with whatever takes your fancy, half of my batch were topped with Oreos and half were topped with Snickers. I also think topping with Toblerone chunks would be equally yummy!