"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;
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.
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 packages...you 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 Son, Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet As Sugar Cookies hosted by Lisa, and Fat Camp Friday hosted by Miranda at Mangoes and Chutney.