Shavuos is on its way! Cheesecake is one of the staples of the upcoming holiday of Shavuos, since we are commanded to eat dairy foods at our festive meals (Countdown to Shavuos: Floral Inspirations and Dairy Recipes) on Shavuos.
This year, Don and I are still on a low-carb diet. We didn’t want to forego cheesecake, but I wanted to make sure to use a minimum of carbs in my cheesecake preparation. I decided to create portion-size cheesecakes to keep the portion size well-controlled. This will allow us to enjoy a taste of heaven without feeling deprived, but keeping our diet “cheating” to a minimum.
Best of all, I skipped the carb-heavy crust and created some beautiful and tasty garnishes to embellish these simple and delicious mini cheesecakes. They are light, delicious, fresh-tasting, gluten-free and simply divine.
This recipe does not require a springform pan or a water bath for baking. It is best to bring the ingredients to room temperature just before preparation. Preparation takes a few minutes and the baking takes less than 20 minutes. It is best made in disposable or porcelain ramekins. It makes 6 medium size or 12 mini ramekins.
1 pound cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
It is best to bring the ingredients to room temperature before baking to prevent cracking, although I have made this recipe effectively with ingredients right out of the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Spray ramekins with cooking spray.
Beat cream cheese with eggs with a whisk, in a food processor or with a mixer, just until smooth and creamy. Add rest of ingredients, beating and incorporating well. You may have to scrape sides of bowl to incorporate everything well until combined, smooth and creamy.
Pour mixture into ramekins, filling 2/3 of the way to the top. I find it easiest to pour the mixture from a glass measuring cup with a spout..
Bake mini ramekins for 15 minutes, 3-4″ ramekins for about 18-20 minutes. Cheesecake will rise slightly. Centers should be set, although the cheese cake will appear to be slightly jiggly.
Remove from the oven and cool completely. Chill the cheesecakes in the ramekins for at least 2 hours or overnight.
The cheese cakes can be served directly in the ramekins or can be removed from the ramekins and served upside side. If removing from the ramekins, carefully turn over on a serving plate. Allow cheese cake to rest for a few minutes before garnishing.
Garnish with fruit, berries, edible leaves and flowers, chocolate bark (Chards of Colorful Chocolate Bark: Whimsical and Delicious)or whole or crumbled cookies.
This recipe can be made as a small single cheesecake. Generously grease a round baking pan. Prepare ingredients as above and pour ingredients into greased round pan. Increase baking time to 30 minutes or until center is set. Garnish as above.
Prepare a crust by crumbling 1 cup of your favorite cookies with 3 tablespoons of melted butter or coconut oil. Press into the bottom of each ramekin and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before pouring cheesecake batter over the crust. Continue to bake as above. You may have to gently coax cheesecake out of ramekin or pan using a smooth knife to unseat the edges of the crust.