I sometimes wonder who the first person was to do something. Some are well documented – though if Alexander Graham Bell had known that his most famous invention would be used to sell everything from double glazing to ambulance chasers advising you to claim for a non existent car accident injury, he might never have uttered the immortal word ‘Watson, come here, I need you’ – but some are lost in the murky mists of time. Who, I wonder, thought ‘ooh, I know what to do with all this excess milk I’ve got, I’ll add rennet and cut it up and, err, keep the lumpy bits and maybe add some salt, and squeeze all the liquid out……..’ You get the idea. Sometimes a process sounds so fantastical that any sane person would have shaken their heads in amazement at the silly flight of fancy they’d just taken. But not only one person seems to have had this idea, but, judging by the widespread abundance of cheese, and the many varieties of it, many people seem to have shared this little bit of craziness. Thank goodness!!!! I’ll admit it – I love cheese. Now, being a vegetarian, I don’t eat the ‘classic’ cheeses made with actual animal rennet, but there are many plant based ones now available and most cheeses these days are made with them. There are some exceptions – Parmesan, for example, HAS to be made with animal rennet as it’s a protected process under EU law. No matter – I found a very acceptable supermarket own make cheese that does the job just as well. And now I’m wondering why I started talking about cheese………..oh, now I remember!!!! Yes, Parmesan is hard and salty, cottage cheese is lumpy and mild, cheddar melts like a dream, and cream cheese? Oh, how I love thee on a toasted sesame bagel. Or, even better (you like how I eventually manage to get my little blurb at the beginning of my posts back round to the actual subject?) cheesecake!!!! I can only surmise that the infamous term ‘cheesecake shot’ was so called because the lovely ladies usually photographed in them were just as sweet and good as these little individual portion offerings. The reason they’re individual is for ease of transportation. It is, after all summer here and, who knows, a picnic or a barbeque might be graced by these yet.
- 50g butter
- 6 digestive biscuits
- 250 cream cheese
- 50g icing sugar
- Zest of a lemon and the juice of half of it
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk
- 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 150ml double cream
- 2 tbsp jam
- 6 strawberries
Heat your oven to 150˚C and line 6 muffin holes with cases. Break up the digestive biscuits and melt the butter. Add the melted butter to the biscuits and then use it to line the bottom of the cases. Pop them into the fridge to chill while you make the filling.Whisk the cream till it holds it’s shape in one bowl, and in another mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon zest and juice, eggs and vanilla and once it’s all well combined, fold it into the cream. Divide this mixture between the chilled muffin cases and pop the muffin tray into the pre-heated oven 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave them alone until the cheesecakes have cooled completely. Trust me – hot cheesecake is not pleasant 😡
Melt the jam and put a wee blob in the centre of the cheesecake and top with the matched fruit – strawberry jam with strawberries, cherry jam with cherries etc.
The idea for these little individual morsels came from the BBC’s Vegetarian Summer Magazine, but I think it’s okay to plagiarise it as a) I’ve changed some of the ingredients a little bit, b) I’ve used my own photos, and c) it’s too damn good an idea not to share 😀