By: Valerie Slabbert
300 g biscuits (I like caramel tennis biscuits)
150g butter or margarine
(Should you use a biscuit that is not quite as sweet, add a tablespoon or so of castor sugar.)
1 x 250 g tub full-cream cream cheese (Lancewood now has a full-cream version, as does Woolworths and Philadelphia of course)
100 ml cream (this increases the fat content of the filling and lets it thicken – often cheesecake doesn’t set when you use low-fat cream cheese)
4 tablespoons cake flour (50 ml)
300 ml castor sugar (250 g) (if I don’t have castor sugar I granulate it in the food processor)
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 x 250 ml tub sour cream
1 x 250 ml tub crème fraiche (R22.95 at Woolworths)
1 tablespoon (12.5 ml) icing sugar
1 tablespoon (12.5 ml) lemon juice
Berries (I got raspberries at Impala for R20 a container)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line 2 cupcake pans (24 indentations) with cupcake papers.
Crumble the biscuits (I use the food processor – it’s very fast that way. Otherwise you can put them in a plastic bag and roll them with a rolling pin – this way the crumbs don’t scatter all over the kitchen). Add the butter/margarine and castor sugar (if needed) and microwave for about 2 minutes till melted. Press down into the cupcake holes (I use a teaspoon).
Whip the cream cheese, cream, cake flour and castor sugar together (use your k-beater to restrict the air in your mixture). Add the eggs one after another and scrape the sides between each addition. Add the vanilla essence and sour cream and mix well. Pour into the cupcake holes to nearly full – I pour the mixture into my glass measuring jug and pour it from there – much faster than spooning it in).
Bake for 20 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. It will wobble a bit when it comes out of the oven – don’t leave it in the oven for longer, it will dry out. It also looks puffed up when it comes out of the oven – it loses the puffiness and becomes flat when it’s out and begins to cool off. Let it cool off in the cupcake pan.
Mix the crème fraiche, lemon juice and icing sugar (you can add more icing sugar or lemon juice according to your taste). Scoop a generous teaspoon full on each cheese tartlet and decorate with berries.
Should blackberries or raspberries not be in season, you can always top it with edible flowers or whatever you fancy.
It works out to about R6 per portion – so for R144 you can serve a portion of cheese cake to 24 people, which is much cheaper than baking a big cheese cake with 3 tubs of cream cheese.