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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

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If you have Nutella but no chocolate mousse, dnt panic. We can fix that right away. All you need is a brilliant recipe for Nutella mousse like this one from Purewow. To use what I had on hand, I substituted the cream cheese for a tub of mascarpone and used only a quarter of the amount of sugar stated. I can imagine that you can totally go without any added sweetener as the Nutella should be enough for any seasoned sweet tooth. If you are patient enough, leave it to set in the fridge for a couple of hours to achieve the distinctive mousse-like texture but if you cannot keep yourself waiting for so long, grab a dessert spoon and simply dig in after topping with fresh cream and chocolate shavings [from the photos you can guess this is exactly what I did!]

NUTELLA MOUSSE

Ingredients:

250g mascarpone, room temperature

3/4 cup Nutella hazelnut spread

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate

Whipped cream, for topping

Method:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese with the Nutella.

  • Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer it to a medium bowl.

  • Wipe out the bowl. In the bowl of the electric mixer, fitted with whip attachment, whip cream to soft peaks.

  • Add sugar and vanilla extract, and whip to medium peaks. Add a third of whipped cream to Nutella mixture.

  • Fold with a rubber spatula to combine. Add another third of cream and repeat, folding it until incorporated.

  • Add the final third and fold to combine. Divide mousse among serving dishes and chill for 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Top mousse with a dollop of whipped cream, garnish with chopped hazelnuts and dark chocolate. Serves 4.

Flan makes a delightfully elegant summer dessert without all the effort and expenses you would normally incur in the creation of something way more complicated but with no guarantee of turning out the way you want it. Flan spares you the pain of spending hours planning, baking and assembling; you can actually just whip it all together well in advance and whip it out at the very last moment and still expect a pat on the back for your culinary flair. Taken from Kitchme, this Spanish flan ditches the regular milk and eggs custard to derive its rich, velvety smooth texture from a mixture of condensed and evaporated milks. My tin of condensed milk had an almost dulce de leche consistency, which added to the pronounced caramel flavour I was hoping for in this simple yet ‘sophisticated’ dessert.

SPANISH FLAN

Ingredients:

1 cup white granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (12 fluid ounce) evaporated milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

  • Melt the sugar in the pan until liquefied and golden in color. Be very careful when handling syrup.

  • Pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning to evenly coat the bottom and sides.

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth.

  • Pour egg mixture into the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 60 minutes.

  • Let cool completely. To serve, carefully invert onto serving plate with edges when completely cool.

Spanish Flan

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