Friday, May 27, 2011

This Small Package is Nirvana!

"How can a small package be Nirvana?" you ask.
"Well, if the small package is a Cheesecake Cupcake, it takes you to Nirvana!" is the reply.  
Could that be right?

Nirvana: A state of perfect happiness; 
an ideal or idyllic place; 
bliss, heaven

Yep, that is the experience when you taste one of these small packages!

Let me help you get started...close your eyes...imagine a slice of dense, rich, smooth, and creamy cheesecake.  Imagine the way you relax when you take that first bite.  Imagine how much you want that second bite so you can experience that creaminess and flavor again.  You are ready....

If you live in New York, you are probably familiar with Junior's and their cheesecakes.  I have visited New York but I have never had the New York cheesecake experience.  What is the next best thing?  Junior's Cheesecakes from the publisher of Fine Cooking was the next best thing.

Original Little Fella Cheesecake
adapted from Junior's Cheesecakes

Yield:   One dozen

2  8 oz packages cream cheese (full fat), at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
12 small fresh strawberries or raspberries (optional)
1 recipe Junior's Signature Strawberry Sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
Line 12 muffin cups with silicone,foil, parchment, or paper liners

Put one package of cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes,scraping down the bowl a few times.  Blend in the remaining package of cream cheese.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then the vanilla.  Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one.  Beat in the cream just until it's completely blended.  Be careful not to over mix.

Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups (fill each one almost up to the top).  Place the muffin tin in a large shallow pan, then add hot water so it comes about 1 inch up the sides of the tin.  Bake the cakes until set and the centers are slightly puffy and golden, about 45 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the water bath, transfer the tin to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours.  Cover the cakes with plastic wrap (don't remove them from the tin) and put in the freezer until cold, at least 1 hour.

To remove the cakes, lift them out of the cups with your hands and peel off the liners.  Place the cakes, top side down, on a serving platter or individual dessert plates and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Top  each with a strawberry or raspberry and serve drizzled with sauce, if you wish.  If there are any cakes left, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.  Or remove the berries, then wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.

My daughter and SIL were the chefs for this adventure.  They doubled the recipe and in part of the batter they added some lime zest.  They also made a lime mousse for the topping.

Lime Mousse

1 recipe Decorator's Whipped Cream
1/4 cup limeade concentrate, thawed just until spoonable
1 to 2 drips green food coloring (optional)

To make the lime mousse prepare the Decorator's Whipped Cream, then stir in the limeade concentrate (it's best if slightly frozen).  Add the food coloring, if you wish.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Fit a pastry bag with a medium closed-star tip or medium open-star tip, pack it with the lime mousse, and pipe the lime mousse on the top of each cupcake, finishing each off with a rosette on top.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  

Decorator's Whipped Cream

Yield:  Enough to decorate the top of one 0-inch cheesecake

1 tsp unflavored granulated gelatin
1 Tbsp cold water
1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place the gelatin in a heatproof measuring cup, stir in the cold water, and let stand until it swells and thickens (this takes only about 1 minute).  Cook the gelatin in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds or over a pan of simmering water for about 1 minute, until clear and completely melted.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on high until it thickens and soft peaks just begin to form.  With the mixer still running, add the sugar and beat just until the cream stands up in peaks (don't over-mix or the cream will curdle).  Beat in the vanilla.  Now, add the melted gelatin all at once and beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but not more than 1 hour.  Use immediately as a cake filling, frosting, rosettes or refrigerate.


You won't be disappointed in these little will enjoy your journey to Nirvana!

I am participating in Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Designs by Gollum, Sweet Tooth Friday hosted by Alli at Alli and SonSweets for a Saturday at Sweet As Sugar Cookies hosted by Lisa, and Fat Camp Friday hosted by Miranda at Mangoes and Chutney.


  1. I need to make these! They're beautiful and they look SO delicious!! I love cheesecake, but what a great way to eat it, your very own cupcake cheesecake. Thanks for providing the decorator's whipped cream recipe too, I imagine the gelatin helps hold it together if you're piping it? I can't wait to try that. I so want one of these right now......

  2. They look beautiful and the lime mousse addition sounds great too! Happy Memorial Day Weekend:@)

  3. I haven't made it to N.Y. quite yet but I adore cheesecake...especially when it comes in a cupcake liner. These are so pretty! I'm going to have to give this decorator's whipped cream a try too.

  4. These look awesome! Love the display piece too.

    Have a great weekend.


  5. oh yum,, I just found you and now I'm soooo hungry...The lime one is my fav.

  6. Oh my! They look so tempting! I am imagining having this with a cup of coffee! I like it that they come in cupcakes, then I can have one or two, to myself! :)

  7. Don't those look pretty and delicious! My daughter said so too.

  8. I can confirm that these were super tasty!

  9. Oh my gosh, you are a dessert diva. Those look fabulous. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cheesecakes up.

  10. I love these little gems, Kate! And don't they look adorable on the cupcake rack?!

  11. These little packages are really lovely and I'm sure they really are quite an experience to have! :) Now you got me craving for cheesecakes!

    By the way, I'm hosting 2 Giveaways on my blog, please stop by to enter when you have a chance. One for $50 Thrive products and another one for baking molds and more. Have a wonderful weekend.


  12. Yes, Cheesecake is Nirvana. Love the lime mousse, too! They look so cute the way you've displayed them.

  13. Oh mai! The creamy cheescake took my heart away ! Would love to bake one .
    The Cake Personality Test
    Which cake are you like?

  14. Oh what a great recipe! A cheesecake that is dense and creamy as you've described surely sounds like nirvana

  15. I just love your presentation of all the lovely cakes. I want to choose but I can't, I want them all! Your recipe looks delicious and I would love to try it. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!

  16. Kate, these DO look like Nirvana. I have always loved cheesecake cupcakes, and I of course love a good NY cheesecake, so I love the idea of taking the main recipe and making individual portions. Definite Nirvana :)

  17. this looks like heaven. all those little popper treats just look so wonderful and rich and i love how they are displayed to make them even more tempting.
    you defiantly hit my sweet tooth with this one.

  18. My goodness! Those cheesecake cups look divine! Truly Nirvana!

  19. Oh they look devine! Will have to whip up some of them myself! Thanks for dropping into the whimsical wife!

  20. They look fantastic! I will definitely give them a try.

  21. must not touch... they look so inviting though :(

    shrinking is no fun...

  22. I am sooo late visiting this week! Thanks for linking this up to Fat Camp Friday, see you tomorrow!

  23. Congratulations Kate,
    You are featured on Full Plate Thursday this week, enjoy!
    Miz Helen

  24. looks very yummy!