Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini Mango and Ginger Cheesecakes – the best things come in small packages, cupcake!

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Perhaps because I am snack-sized myself, I have a weakness for mini-food of all types. If there are canapés on offer, I’m there. Too often, by the time I’ve polished off a proper dinner, I have barely enough room left to read the dessert menu, never mind actually tackle the average confectionery... unless of course it’s a cupcake.
When this winter rolls over into January 2011, trendy foodies will be saying “Cupcakes are so last year!”  Tsk! What a shame, because many people – me included – love the endless variation of form and flavour (and mini-ness) that cupcakes represent.
What lies beneath?  
What is going to replace the cupcake in my affections?
I know! The mini cheesecake! It is petite perfection, with about half the calories of a regular old-fashioned slice (unless you devour two). Just like the cup cake, the mini cheesecake can take on endless form and flavour. 
Say "Cheese!"

For approximately 15 mini Mango and Ginger cheesecakes you will need:
Ginger biscuit base
150g Ginger Nut biscuits, crushed
75g butter, melted

1.   First, line a muffin pan with paper muffin liners. Mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter and divide between the muffin cups, packing the mixture down lightly with the back of a spoon.
Mango cheesecake mix
1 x 568ml (1 pint) packet orange jelly (Jell-O) – I use the 135g Chivers brand
125mls boiling water
350g full-fat soft cheese (low-cal won’t set properly)
110g caster sugar
125mls double cream
1 x 397g tin sliced mango in light syrup
25mls fresh lemon/lime juice or 25mls Maguary Passion Fruit concentrate if you can get it

2.   In a measuring jug, dissolve the orange jelly in the boiling water. A few zaps of the microwave can speed this up a little.
3.   In a food processor, purée the sliced mango with enough of its syrup to make a thick liquid and add enough of this to bring the melted jelly mixture to bring it up to 275mls on the measuring jug (you’ll have plenty left over – I drizzle this over the finished cakes). Stir in the lemon/lime juice or Passion Fruit concentrate. Leave to cool, checking every five minutes or so for the gelling process to start – this is where it begins to thicken ever so slightly.
4.   Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
5.   When the jelly mixture has reached the gelling stage, add it to the cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Finally, add the double cream and beat until just combined.
6.   Divide the mixture between the muffin cups – careful to leave about  ½cm at the top. Refrigerate for about 3 hours or until set. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
To decorate as shown:
Spoon a little of the mango purée over the surface of the set cakes. This gives them the beautiful sunny yellow in the picture.  Draw shapes on baking parchment and fill them in with melted dark chocolate, or drizzle random shapes, remembering to count one for each cheesecake and a few extra for the cook. Leave for about 5 – 10 minutes in a cool room then peel away the paper and decorate the cheesecakes with the chocolate shapes.
Choose another flavour of in place of the orange jelly and add a complementary puréed fruit in place of the mango.
Add a little chopped crystallised ginger to spice up the base, or choose another biscuit entirely – try Oreos, Digestive, Choc Chip...  So many mini cheesecakes, so little time...
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  1. Oh wowww these little cheesecakes look divine!!! Your photos look amazing, very tempting - really makes me want to reach for one right now. *tummy grumbles*

  2. Making things in muffin tins, mini or otherwise, is a trend that will never pass for me. I'll keep it up no matter what!
    Mango and ginger are such luscious, tropical flavors. These will be perfect to serve at all the fabulous dinner parties I plan to have on the boat when we get to to the Caribbean!

  3. I think I may just have to make a trip to the store so I can make these asap! My mouth is watering! I just made some goat cheese and honey mini cheesecakes, which were not too sweet but very yummy- but these look perfect! Love the addition of mango and ginger :]


    P.s. Break out your sushi mat asap! It seriously is so simple and there is nothing like enjoying sushi from the comfort of your own home, any time you so desire! Thank you for the comment!

  4. Now that is inventive. They sound really good.

  5. Being a half-pint sized diva myself I must agree that the best things in life do come in small parcels...can't wait for my imminent visit in 3-week's time!

    DD xx

  6. Love, love, love this! Petite so we have automatic portion control. The gingerbread crust makes it for me too.

  7. What a wonderful idea. I have a stock of cup cake cases and my cheese cake tin has gone walkies. You have saved the day! That mango puree is divine.


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