I made a bunch of these mini cheesecakes this weekend and I have to say they were a big hit! These mini cheesecakes are great for a party or for a special dessert!
What you need:
- Sticks of butter for melting
- Box of either chocolate wafers or chocolate graham crackers
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temp.
- 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temp. (Italian cream cheese)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temp.
- Aluminum mini pie pans. (typically come around 4" and you can usually get 8 in a package for around $1)**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
This recipe should yield approx 12, 4" mini cheesecakes.
Finely crush chocolate graham crackers (or chocolate wafers) and add to a bowl. Mix in 5-6 tablespoons melted butter. You just want the mixture to be coated and able to stick together. Pour a couple spoons fulls into the bottom of each mini baking pan and press down firmly.
Using a mixer; beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, & sugar until smooth. (occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula) Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended.
Pour about 4 tablespoons (or enough to put a 1/2" layer over the crusts) into each mini pan.
Place 6 of the mini-cheesecakes on a deep lipped baking sheet. Pour hot water on to the baking sheet around the cheesecakes. (Known as a water bath. This helps for even cooking and allows the crust to stay moist) Just pour enough hot water around the cheesecakes so that there is a layer of water all around the bottom of the baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until the center moves only slightly when shaken but the rest is firm. Note: If you have never made cheesecake, the cheesecake will kind of look like it is not done. But it is and will firm up more when it is out of the oven and has a chance to set up.
When finished, remove from oven and let them cool on the counter for 30-45 minutes. Then refrigerate for a few hours. Cheesecake tastes better if you actually let it refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Before eating, take the chill off the cheesecakes by letting them sit out for about 15 minutes.
Add whatever toppings you like onto the cheesecakes!!
**You can also make these in muffin pans. Follow the directions above but reduce baking time by around 5-10 minutes depending on your oven. You can also make a 9" cheesecake in a spring form pan with this recipe. Just cook for about 1hr 5 minutes and use a roaster pan to cook the cheesecake in with a water bath that comes half way up the side of the spring form pan.