Friday, April 9, 2010

mini blackberry cheesecake - purple and fruity, just like me

mini blackberry cheesecake - 20My weekends typically begin on Fridays. You see, I've perfectly arranged my schedule these past three years in college to avoid the dreaded Friday morning classes. The only way to celebrate (at least in my book) is to bake! What else is new? Although this is nothing out of the ordinary for me, as I typically already do bake my ass off every Friday, I wanted to do something a little different today. Perhaps I'd fiddle with some recipes and conjure up some baked goods of my own. Hold on- am I even capable of such a feat?

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There are some baking recipes that are more forgiving than others- cheesecake, for example. Regardless if you're making a New York style cheesecake, a creamy smooth cheesecake, or even a flavored one for that matter, it all comes down to the basics. I generally stick to recipes with a smaller height and with the use of flour.

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Luckily for me, I recently bought a mini cheesecake pan (4.5 inches). As seen in my mini lime cheesecake for St. Patrick's Day, I was able to one-fourth the recipe to create this little tin of creamy goodness. As for the flavoring for this cheesecake, well, let's just say I played around with it.

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I found a delicious jar of blackberry jam in my fridge (I absolutely love blackberries). I separated about a quarter of the basic cheesecake batter into a little cup and mixed it with at least a heaping tablespoon of this delicious jam. After pouring the plain cheesecake batter in my little tin, I poured the jam version on top and did a little swirling. Gorgeous, is it not?

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First off, purple is my ultimate favorite color, so this cheesecake is essentially me in a nutshell (creamy, fruity, and purple?)

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But we all know that I can't eat an entire cheesecake, even a miniature one at that, all by myself. (Well, technically I could, but that probably wouldn't be suitable for my diet.) So the true test came when I had my picky-eater sample this concoction of mine.

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The verdict? Creamy, smooth, and cheesecakey. Happily he did enjoy it (and ate most of it, thank goodness). But as for me, I was personally disappointed with the lack of flavor from the jam. Perhaps I didn't use enough jam (although the bright purple color of the cheesecake says otherwise). Anyways, my purple-colored plain cheesecake did entertain me for the day (oh, and did I mention I made another mini cheesecake that day too? Hehe).

Adapted from All Recipes.
I one-fourthed the recipe to fit my 4.5 inch springform pan.

crust ingredients:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (omitted)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (omitted)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (omitted)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (omitted)
5 tablespoons butter, melted

cheesecake ingredients:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 heaping teaspoon or so of jam/preserves of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, chopped walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter. Mix well and press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan (4.5 inch in my case). Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Beat in sour cream and heavy cream. Blend in the flour and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add eggs one at a time. Pour batter over crust.
3. If adding jam/preserves, reserve a fourth of the batter mixture into a small bowl and mix well with jam. Pour that on top of plain batter and swirl with a toothpick.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until center is almost set (filling will be soft). Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before removing from pan. ()If using a 4.5 inch baking pan, I got these directions from Hub Pages: Bake at 300 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center of cheesecake is almost set. I let them sit in the oven after I turned it off for another 10-15 minutes.)

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