MINI SUMMER CHEESECAKES WITH GINGER AND BERRIES
(Makes around 24 mini cheesecakes)
Cheesecake is a perennial favourite. It can be quite a filling dessert but this recipe is for bite-sized cheese cakes perfect for summer buffets, picnics or tea parties. Using Swedish ginger thins for the base instead of the more traditional Digestives gives a nice spice kick to the palate. Crushed Amaretti biscuits work wonderfully well too.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 140°C.
2. Place the ginger thins in a mixing bowl and crush with a pestle, or place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Tip into a mixing bowl and add the spice, salt and melted butter.
3. Place about a teaspoon of ginger crumbs in the base of each mini cupcake case. Press down a little and refrigerate while you get on with making the filling.
4. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with 60g sugar until pale and creamy then add the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest, flour and a pinch of salt. Beat in the cream cheese a large spoonful at a time. Make sure it is completely mixed in.
5. Beat the egg whites separately with the remaining 25g of sugar until stiff peaks form. Add one large spoonful of this to the cheese mixture to loosen it, then fold through the rest of the egg whites, being careful not to knock out all the air.
6. Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into each cupcake case - don't over-fill as the cheesecakes will rise.
7. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the surface feels firm. Cheesecake shouldn't take on too much colour, so check after 12 minutes and if necessary turn the heat down to 125º or so. Leave to cool in the oven for up to an hour after turning the oven off.
8. Top the individual cheesecakes with a cherry or strawberry, or a few blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. Add a sprig of mint and give a light dusting of icing sugar.
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