This was the last bake I did in our old house and I videoed it as well, but as I look for the footage now- I cannot find the ones taken on the camera, only the parts I videoed on my phone, so…. blog only this one.
For years, I have loved watching The Food Network and one of the programmes that really caught my attention was Ree Drummond: The Pioneer Woman and I could watch her shows for hours (in a not creepy way). A couple of Christmas’ ago I got Rees’ new book The Pioneer Woman Cooks – The New Frontier (Amazon link) and it has taken me over a year to get round to actually make a recipe from this amazing book.
Now that we have moved into our new house, I have actually made a few other recipes and they are all d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.! If you love rich food, that can be easily made- you have to get this book. I love the actual look of the book, how Ree has integrated her family and doggies in the book as well, which adds a lot of personal touch to it. Plus the food is gorgeous.
How do you decide which recipe to make first?
Tough one, but I wanted to try something I haven’t done before, something that could be eaten easily (big cake was out this time) and something I knew I would love to eat.
Strawberry Mini Cheesecakes
Right, lets get in it!
- 12 graham crackers (the largest rectangles) – I used plain digestive biscuits, I used 2 per 1 graham cracker, but that was too much, next time I will use about 15 digestives, I think that will be enough. Unless you nearly double up on the rest of ingredients as well
- 1/4 cup sugar – I used caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons of salted butter, melted – I did this on eye and estimated
- 12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature – Mascarpone cheese x 340 grams
- 1/2 cup sugar – I used caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 strawberry preserve – I used normal strawberry jam
- 6 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped – 170 grams
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, heated just to simmer – I used double cream
- 6 strawberries, halved
- optional – red sugar sprinkles
Oven will need to be pre-heated to 180C or 350F.
Few notes on the ingredient list:
- I used over 20 plain digestives and that made me about 20 cupcakes, so I think using 1 biscuit / cup cake should be OK, but I’ll go up to 15.
- I used caster sugar, but if you don’t have it, granulated sugar should be fine as well.
- I just had a normal size jar of strawberry jam, but next time I’ll get 2, as I had to ration for the last cupcakes as I didn’t have enough.
- Double cream- next time I will use at least 1/2 cup, as again, I was running out for the last cupcakes and had to ration.
Step by step guide – which I am literally taking from the book, I’ll just try and lump things together:
1- break the biscuits up (you can use a food processor if you have one)- I put them in a zip-lock food bag & bashed it with a wooden rolling pin and transferred the crumbs to a bowl. Then add the caster sugar. Slowly add the melted butter and keep breaking the biscuits till they turn into fine crumbs.
2- line your 12 piece cup cake tin with cupcake cases, add about 1-2 tablespoons (depending how big the cupcakes are) of the crumbs. Make sure you press the crumbs down, so they are nice & flat.
3- Make the filling- in the bowl (stand mixer fitted with paddle attached or hand-mixer) combine the mascarpone, caster sugar and egg. Mix it on a low speed. Then add the vanilla & keep mixing. Add 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam & keep mixing until combined.
4- Add 2 or how ever much you feel is sufficient of strawberry jam on top of the crust, make sure to cover all of the crust. Then add the cheese filling. Once filled- tap the bottom of the tin on the counter to make sure the batter has settled and bake for 17 minutes, until set in centre. Cool on wire rack for at least 2hrs, but I left them for 24hrs and finished them off the next day.
5- for the ganache– place the chopped white chocolate in a heat proof bowl and pour the hot double cream over them, let it sit for couple of minutes. Whisk slowly until the chocolate has totally melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the ganache on top of each cupcake and add a halved strawberry on top. If you are using red sugar sprinkles – add these to the top now. Chill until served.
Note from Pioneer Woman– due to the fresh strawberries, best to eat them within 12 hours.
As I said- this whole recipe is from Pioneer Womans new book and I take no credit in creating this delicious master piece. I absolutely loved making these and they tasted amazing. I dropped some by my friend and her family and they loved these as well. I will most definitely be making these again.
I don’t own any other Rees’ books so I can’t comment on them, but the layout of New Frontier is very easy to read and follow, literally- step by step. If I ever got confused as to what I needed to do, there is a picture and a description of each step. I think this is an ideal book for you or anyone you know who is a foodie or wants to get into more cooking and baking, as the recipes are very-very yummy and easy to follow.
Hope this post has made your sweet tooth itch and your hands reaching towards the baking cupboard. Enjoy the baking & let me know in the comments below how yours turn out or what is your favourite dessert you’d like me to try.
Here is a link to my YouTube channel of a quick video of these Strawberry Mini Cheesecakes.
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