If you love cheesecake, these summer mini cherry cheesecakes are sure to please. This recipe uses chocolate digestive biscuits for the base, soft cheese and creme fraiche for the filling. Topped with cherries and a sprig of mint, these mini cheesecakes are so simple to make and great for sharing too. Ideal for a summer dinner party with the family, this recipe serves 6 people and takes only 30 mins to prepare. All you have to do is leave the cheesecakes to set and then they’re ready to be served.
- For the base:
- 125g chocolate digestives, finely crushed
- 30g butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 3 leaves of gelatine
- 200g carton full-fat soft cheese
- 100g caster sugar
- 1⁄2 x 200ml carton crème fraiche
- Finely zested rind of 1 lemon
- 1 medium egg white
- For the topping:
- 250g cherries, stoned
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 level tbsp arrowroot
- 2 tbsp kirsch
- Sprigs of mint, for garnis
- You will also need:
- 4 cooking rings or plain round cutters about 6cm (21⁄2in) in diameter, buttered
- Small baking tray, lined with baking parchment
To make the base: Mix together the crushed biscuits and butter. Place the cooking rings or cutters on the baking tray and then divide the biscuit mixture between them and press down firmly, then chill until set.
To make the filling: Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and leave them to sponge. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, crème fraiche and lemon zest. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and melt it, either in a microwave oven or in a bowl over a pan of hot water and beat it into the cheese mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cheese mixture. Divide the mixture between the rings and then chill in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, until set.
To make the topping: Pour 100ml water into a saucepan and add the cherries and sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2-3 mins until the cherries are tender. Blend the arrowroot with 2 tbsp water and pour into the pan, stirring well so that the juices thicken. Simmer for a further minute then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the kirsch then leave the mixture to cool.
Remove the cheesecakes from the rings by using a palette knife under them to lift them from the baking parchment and then heating the sides, either using a gas flame or wrap a hot cloth around them (for example a clean tea-towel dipped in hot water and then wrung out very well), but take care not to melt them too much. Place on serving plates and then spoon the cherry mixture on top and garnish with a sprig of mint.
If you don’t have cooking rings or cutters, make and serve the cheesecakes in ramekin dishes.