Once upon a (luckily long gone) time, I actually hated cheesecake. My experience with this delectable treat in Vietnam was filled with little more than disappointment, from the dense and hard bakes cheesecake to the excessively gelatinous no-bake ones sitting in the local bakery’s front display. Not until I came to America did the world of cheesecakes truly unfold, and I’ve become a die-hard cheesecake fan ever since.
I came up with this cheesecake recipe through a fortunate accident, AKA my absent-mindedness in forgetting to buy sour cream. I simply substituted sour cream with heavy whipping cream, and found a smooth and creamy texture that was (of course) more palatable. I also added some lemon juice for extra sourness, and found it to be much more adjustable than sour cream.
Why mini cheesecakes? I thought it was a better (and much cleaner) way to make it for groups. I always have friends over to clean up my baking mess, so it makes sense to prepare it this way to prevent extra dishes.
Mini Cheesecake Bites
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Servings: 15-20
Let your (beloved Philadelphia) cream cheese sit until it’s room temperature. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream to just a little under a stiff peak, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge.
Melt the butter in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Pour melted butter into the graham cracker crumbs. Add vanilla extract, sugar and mix well with a rubber spatula. Crust mixture should feel damp but not too wet.
Prepare cupcake liners. Divide the wet crumb mixture into individual molds and press well to create a flat and even crust.
Preheat oven to 350°F and make sure rack is positioned so that the cupcake pan is in the middle of the oven. I tend to use both upper and lower heat for baking.
With a hand/stand mixer (trust me, your arms will thank you), beat cream cheese with sugar on high speed until soft and fluffy, gradually add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add salt, lime juice (adjust to your liking) and vanilla extract. Mix well.
With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until just combined.
Divide the filling into lined cupcake molds.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes; cool for 15 minutes in the oven with door slightly ajar.
Once the cheesecake has cooled, make the caramel sauce and drizzle on top, garnish with a good sprinkle of salt.
You can also make a batch of mini coffee cheesecakes by adding 2 tbsp of instant coffee powder and cut back on the lime juice.