The holidays are pretty much behind us and it’s time to look to the year ahead. This year, I want to share more savory recipes and as I looked to rid myself of the last of the sugars laying about the house I came up with a dessert that will likely be my go-to whenever I am hosting a dinner.
I love cheesecake, it’s rich, decadent, and refreshing. I had two bricks of cream cheese in the fridge and what better way to use them up than to make cheesecake batter and pour it into a lined cupcake pan? The recipe is simple and all of the ingredients are gluten-free (or can at least be found gluten-free).
The end result is a beautiful dessert that you will be proud to share.
You will need:
16 oz of cream cheese at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Beat the cream cheese using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, you can also use a hand mixer (if you have strong arms you can even do it by hand with a wooden spoon). Once creamy and smooth, add the sugar and cream together.
It is important that the cream cheese be at room temperature otherwise you will have a lumpy batter.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
Add the vanilla extract and orange zest and mix until incorporated.
Pour into lined cupcake pan. Depending on how much you fill them you should be able to fill 12 slots.
Bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes. You want the cheesecake to be almost set in the middle but still wobbly. Turn off the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the oven and setting on a cooling rack.
The cheesecakes will deflate a little. Allow to cool completely before placing in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
Raspberry orange champagne sauce
The cheesecakes are already wonderful as they are but I had some frozen raspberries I wanted to use up so I threw them into a saucepan along with the juice and pulp of one orange. I also added about a quarter cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then I added a generous splash of champagne. I brought it all to a boil and simmered it for a few minutes until it had reduced a bit.
At this point taste your sauce and add a little more sugar if you feel it needs it. I wanted the sauce to be fresh with a hint of tartness, not sickly sweet.
I then strained the mixture and discarded al the seed and pulp. I returned the liquid to the stove and simmered until it thickened a little. Once I was happy with the consistency I turned off the heat and let the sauce cool in the pan before transferring it into a bowl and placing it in the fridge.
Carefully, remove the cheesecake from the cupcake wrapper. Place upside down on a plate. This conceals the sunken top part and gives you a flat, smooth surface on which to spoon your sauce. Top with as much sauce as you want and top with fresh whipped cream. I recommend taking the first one you plate up as a little chef’s treat, practice your presentation on this one and modify your approach on the others.
This was my first attempt (too much sauce):
Never made your own whipped cream before? It’s easy. You need really cold heavy cream and a really cold bowl. I place mine in the freezer for a few minutes. Whip the cream until it’s stiff enough to pipe. You can add vanilla extract and powdered sugar if you want.
These can be plated a few hours in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.