Imagine cheecakes in bite size? The idea for this came from a request from my daughter Riya who requested for an Oreo Cheesecake (after watching videos on Youtube) and I had a tea gathering to attend yesterday (4 Apr) at a friend's place and I wanted to bring something bite-sized.
I had a fabulous hilarious time catching up with this fun group of ladies. We met eons ago through our parent volunteer group while our kids were in Temasek Primary School - an elementary school in the east of Singapore. Our kids have long graduated and have gone on different ways but our friendship is still growing. Some of us haven't met up with others for a while but we didn't take long to warm up to each other again.
Like what Saras, our host, quipped 'If one treasures a relationship, no matter what, it cannot break. All it takes is a hug and coffee'. Well said dear.
So, coming back to the recipe, this is a rather simple cheesecake recipe involving baking. I like the base which has crushed Oreo biscuits and Pretzels. Why Pretzels? The filling has condensed milk which can be very sweet for some. The addition of the Pretzels gave a nice balance to the overall taste - it turned out salty sweet chocolatey and creamy. If you find the base rather dry add a bit more butter to the recipe below (10gm more). Cheesecakes can sometimes be quite big a slice and over filling to the point of one gasping for breath and going 'Enough! There isn't any space left in my tummy!' However, the size of these cheesecakes, being mini, is ideal for tea parties and post dinner desserts when you have had just too much to devour and you just want something sweet to complete your meal!
I have used a mixture of Ricotta and Cream Cheese in the filling. Ricotta is not technically a cheese as it is actually from whey, a by product of cheese making. It has a solid texture compared to cream cheese and must be beaten well to ensure all the lumps are smoothened out well to use in the cheesecake recipe. I have used Ricotta in baked pasta dishes but this is the first time I have used it in a dessert. I loved the mix - in fact I was spooning and gulping down the remaining batter mix!! Yum.
Ingredients (for 24 mini chesecakes)
For the biscuit pretzel base
100gm Oreo biscuits (18 biscuits) (Split and filling removed. Keep the filling)
50 gm Pretzels
70 gm unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
1 cup ricotta cheese
250gm cream cheese
1 cup condensed milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, extra for decorating
24 hole Mini Muffin Non Stick Pan
1)Start preparing the mini muffin pan by greasing it with a brush of butter. This ensures that the cheesecakes do not stick to the muffin pan base.
2) Process the Oreo biscuits and Pretzels in a food pocessor or a blender. It will be time consuming if you try to crush them using a rolling pin and you will not get a fine texture that is required. Mix in the melted butter.
3) Press the crumb base mixture into the 24 holes of the mini muffin pan. Use the end of a rolling pin - it works out really well then using a spoon. Leave the pan aside while you prepare the filling.
4) Preheat the oven to 170 deg C or 325 deg F. Whisk the Ricotta and cream cheese well, then add in the orea filling, condensed milk, beaten eggs and vanilla bean paste. Whisk until smooth and until there are no more lumps.
5) Add in the choc chips in the end.
6) Spoon the prepared batter mix into the greased holes of the mini muffin pan. The cheesecakes expand a little so don't over pour. You may have some remaining mix. (Go on take a spoon and taste it. Your knees would buckle, I promise!)
7) Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 mins max. The sides will be set and the middle will be slightly wobbly. Remove from oven and quickly top a few choc chips so that they melt in the warm cheesecakes. Leave them to cool. Once cool, scoop them out from muffin pans and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours before serving.
8) Enjoy a little bite of sweet chocolate cheese heaven!