Friday, April 9, 2010

Mini Pink Lemonade Cheesecakes - What fun!

I just settled in at a little table at Kip's Irish Pub in St. Louis Park. I'm at a Marriott for the evening because I am attending the Northland Belly Dance Forum all day tomorrow and didn't want to drive here in the wee hours of the morning. The morning starts with yoga at 7:30 and is followed by five workshops where I will be learning all sorts of stuff, even learning about dancing with a sword. I expect watching me in that workshop will be very entertaining because I have no clue of how to dance with a sword on my head, my hip or anywhere else. After the workshops, which finish at 5:00, I'll be going to a belly dance show that my instructor, Kate, is dancing in. It will be a full day but because I promised to ride my bike every day (see my previous entries and the 30 Days of Biking website), I packed my hybrid bike in my van and plan to ride around the parking lot or something tomorrow. Gotta do it - because I said I would.

Although belly dancing and biking are very fun to write about what I really want to write about tonight is cheesecake. Mini pink lemonade cheesecakes to be more specific. Why? Because I like cheesecake (I've probably made 30 or more in the last year) and because I purchased four cute little mini-cheesecake pans when I was on my trip to Seattle and I just had a chance to try them out.

One of my favorite finds on my Seattle trip was a great kitchenware store called Sur La Table. I love kitchen stores and especially have fun looking at pans and stuff in the baking section. I've been looking for mini-cheesecake pans for awhile and found 4.5 inch pans on the shelves at Sur La Table so I bought four and finally had a chance to use them last week.

I decided to make pink lemonade cheesecake for Easter so pulled out my cheesecake recipe book and got to work. Question is, how long to bake cheesecakes in mini pans? Awhile back I asked my chef friend, Karl Wilder of Fusion on the Fly this very question. His reply was to reduce the baking time by a quarter of the total time. This particular recipe recommends baking in a 9"pan for 15 minutes at 350 degrees followed by 2 hours at 200 degrees then 2 more hours in the oven with the oven turned off.

I mixed up my batter, pressed the crust into the pans and gave it a try. I had enough batter for eight pans but only had four so I filled the four and stuck the rest of the batter in the fridge for later. I did my 350 degree bake for 6 minutes followed by the 200 degree bake for 30. Checked the cheesecakes and decided five more minutes would be fine. So, total time of 35 minutes with 30 or so minutes more with the oven off. After they cooled I found they came out of the pan easily. These pans are way nicer than my 9" pan - I can't wait to get more of them and maybe even replace my 9" pan with another from Sur La Table (I discovered they have a store in nearby Edina, Minnesota - yay! - I will be going there soon). After plating the cheesecakes, I put on some topping made from sour cream and white chocolate and presented them after Easter dinner.
Part of the bakeware section of Sur La Table in Pike Place Market, Seattle.

The result? Perfect little cheesecakes that not only looked lovely but tasted delicious. I have since baked the rest of the batter and have shared these pink lemonade cheesecakes with a few friends, including writer friends Joy Riggs and Christine Lienke. Joy said this is her favorite cheesecake of mine so far (she's tried four or five of my cheesecakes, I think, so that's saying something). This cute little size cheesecake is so fun - they are easy to freeze and easy to share. In fact, I stopped one off just this afternoon to my friend, Ann, and have another one waiting in the freezer to share with Joy's son, Sebastian.
One of the mini pink lemonade cheesecake that I served for Easter.

I can't wait to make more. Next recipe that I'm going to try in my mini-cheesecake pans? Probably Margarita!


1 comment:

Joy Riggs said...

You could go into business making those cheesecakes, Myrna. The pink lemonade one is amazing. I don't know if the margarita one will top it, but I'm willing to be a taste tester anytime. Sebastian is, too.