Mini cheesecakes with macerated strawberries

Strawberries! I love strawberries! They are just so perfect for summer. I kinda wish I could go strawberry picking this summer. Can you just imagine picking those plump little fruits, fresh! For now, I’ll happily settle for the punnets of strawberries from the grocery.
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I made mini cheesecakes to go with this lovely fruit. I found this recipe from a book called Cooking Desserts which I randomly found at the local library. I ended up borrowing the book just because it was lighter to carry in my backpack during the walk home. But I think I ended up riding the bus… yada yada.

Anyways the best thing about this is that it is NO BAKE (look mom less power consumption, sort of). And you can easily make this in advance if serving as a dessert for a dinner party or something.

The recipe calls for orange juice and orange zest for macerating the strawberries. (I actually picked this recipe also because I didn’t know what macerated meant before. Now that I do know what it means aka softening something by soaking, I wonder if I’ll ever say “milk served with macerated oreos”) You can use any citrus fruit I suppose but with adjustment of quantities. The first time I made this I used lemon zest and  mango-orange juice (the only stuff in the fridge at the time) and my family liked it though I thought the lemon was a bit much (can be adjusted). Next time I did it I used orange zest and orange/pineapple juice, more subtle but just as good. I mean experimenting is fun, but sometimes when you forget to list your ingredients when going shopping experimenting is necessary, haha.
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Also, another fun thing about this is that the crust is not just biscuits you crushed mixed with a bit of butter (which is usually just how I do with normal cheesecakes) I suppose because it’s quite a small dessert you have to compartmentalize the excitement even through the crust so white chocolate and ground almonds are tossed in there.
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Okay on to the recipe. From Cooking Desserts (Murdoch Books)

Mini cheesecakes with macerated strawberries

Crust: ¾ cup crushed malt biscuits (or any sweet biscuit)
½ cup ground almonds
2/3 cup white chocolate, chopped and melted
60g unsalted butter, melted

Filling: 250g softened cream cheese
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp. orange zest, finely grated
2 tbsp. Orange juice
125 ml whipping cream
2 egg whites at room temperature

Macerated
Strawberries: 500g strawberries
1 tbsp. caster sugar
¼ tsp. orange zest, finely grated
2 tbsp. orange juice

– lightly grease a 12 hole standard muffin tin and line each hole with two long strips of baking paper in the shape of a cross, for removing cheesecakes later

– Mix the crushed biscuits, ground almonds, white chocolate and butter in a bowl until combined. Add more butter if the mixture is too dry.

-Divide the mixture among the muffin holes and use your fingers to press down on the base and up the sides of the muffin holes. Use the back of a spoon to smoothen it out. Refrigerate the crusts while preparing the filling

– For the filling beat the cream cheese, sugar and orange zest in a small bowl with electric beater until light and creamy. Beat the orange juice into the mixture until just combined

– In another bowl beat the cream until soft peaks form.

– In a another (3rd) bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

– Fold the cream and egg whites into the cream cheese mixture.

– Spoon the mixture onto the prepared crusts and refrigerate for several hours or overnight or until set.

– For the macerated strawberries, cut the strawberries into small pieces and combine them with the sugar , orange zest and orange juice. Refrigerate for several hours.

– When serving carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and top with a spoonful of strawberries

Enjoy :))

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