Cheesecakes are the latest fad around here. Everyone’s talking about them, everyone’s ordering them on coffee dates, everyone’s looking up recipes to try them at home but it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea to go out there, bake a great cheesecake and get it right every time. And this is where these no-bake versions will seem almost Godsent so that you can actually have your cake and eat it, right away. These no-fuss mini cheesecakes, from Tastes Lovely, have the usual buttery crumb crust paired alongside a light, creamy filling and topped with a good measure of homemade blueberry sauce. Assembled in small Mason jars, they can be made days ahead so that you can open your fridge and reach for one whenever you need to have cheesecake without even having to turn the oven on.

MINI BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES

Ingredients:

For the Blueberry Sauce

650g fresh blueberries

1/4 cup cold water

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon corn starch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Crumb Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 tablespoon white granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Filling

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold

450g cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Method:

  • For the blueberry sauce, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Reserve 1/2 cup blueberries for garnish.
  • Add remaining blueberries, water, sugar and cornstarch to the saucepan. Mash with a potato masher.

  • Cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Remove from heat to allow it to cool.
  • Stir in lemon juice and set aside. Once it is room temperature, cover and keep in fridge until required.

  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar and stir it to combine.
  • Slowly drizzle in the melted butter with 1 hand, and stir to combine with a fork using the other hand.

  • When well mixed, it will look like wet sand. Spoon 2 1/2 tablespoons of crumb mixture into each jar.
  • Press the crumbs in an even layer at the bottom of the jar using medium pressure and set them aside.

  • For the filling, beat the cold heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, Greek yogurt and powdered sugar.

  • Start at low speed, slowly increase to high as sugar gets incorporated. Beat for 2 minutes until creamy.
  • Add in half of the whipped cream to cream cheese mixture. Then add other half of the whipped cream.

  • Gently fold in so that it stays somewhat light and airy else it will be too thick once it cools in the fridge.
  • To assemble, spoon about 1/3 cup of the cheesecake on top of graham cracker crust in the mason jars.

  • Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the blueberry mixture on top of the cheesecake. Cover jars with the lids.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour so that they firm up. Top cheesecake with fresh blueberries and serve.

Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

Are you still relying on boxed pancake mix for deliciously light and fluffy pancakes? Though I make pancakes on a regular basis, I always like to go with buttermilk to give them the characteristic airy texture as in this great recipe from Savory Sweet Life. It makes me doubly happy when I can get my hands on some genuine buttermilk [I was lucky to find Danone Cultured Buttermilk from the dairy aisle at Shoprite Tamarin] but you can simply shake some full cream milk with lemon juice or vinegar. It does not matter if you cannot flip them over like a pro but once you are done, stack your pancakes high on a hot plate and serve with butter or maple syrup and you will forget all about boxed pancake mix.

BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk

2 eggs, room temperature

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

4 tablespoons caster sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt

4 tablespoons liquid milk

Method:

  • Blend buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a blender at a medium low speed until well combined.

  • Slowly add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and continue to blend till smooth.

  • Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the batter has the consistency of honey or cake mix batter.

  • Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and coat with butter. Pour 1/3 cup batter onto the pan.

  • Watch for pancake to form bubbles on the surface and for griddle side of the pancake to turn golden.

  • Gently but quickly flip pancake over, cook for 30 seconds until golden. Repeat until batter is used up.

  • Stack pancakes between sheets of parchment paper. Serve with maple syrup. Makes 16-18 pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Another tried and tested and well loved recipe from Salades Repas Editions Larousse, this easy chicken salad combines the sweetness of honey and the slightly pungent aroma of mustard in a colorful, crisp, and fresh jumble of greens that you might start serving for brunch on a regular basis. Do you need reminding that salad is good for health?

HONEY & MUSTARD CHICKEN SALAD

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons pure honey

2 tablespoons moutarde à l’ancienne

4 chicken breasts, about 180g each

200g fresh young salad leaves

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

6 tablespoons virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Combine honey and mustard in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and coat chicken pieces with mixture.

  • Place on a lined baking sheet. Preheat oven or grill and cook chicken for about 10 minutes till done.

  • Leave to cool slightly before cutting chicken into strips or bite size pieces with a sharp kitchen knife.

  • Toss the salad leaves and tomato halves into a large salad bowl, then add the cooked chicken strips.

  • Mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar together and pour over the salad. Season it with salt and pepper.

  • Serve salad immediately with baguette or consume within 1 day of preparation. Makes 4 servings.

Honey & Mustard Chicken Salad

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Mauritius

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