I made this dessert for my boyfriend’s college graduation after he requested some sort of cheesecake.
This was the first time I met his Granny, Grandfather, Aunt, Uncle, cousins, and some of his best girlfriends, so I HAD to make a good impression! This idea came from a friend while we brainstormed what would be the most impressive cheesecake to make. I thought, “What a good idea! Good thing I already have a kitchen torch.” If you do not have one, never fear! Go to World Market and pick up a small home kitchen one for about $20 (this is the one I have). This cake looks elegant and difficult but it’s not… I’ll walk you through it!
I like to make my cheesecakes in cupcake tins. This is easier for being in college (easier to transport, store, and faster baking) and who doesn’t like a little cute individual dessert?! If you don’t, you’re crazy; therefore, we cannot be friends …
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit! Seems low but trust me!
Get a big square roasting pan or Pyrex dish – you will use this for a Bain-Marie (AKA a water bath!) to make your oven a cheesecake sauna (yummmm)
Get a cupcake tin or two (yields about 24)! Line with paper cupcake liners (don’t bother with those pretty ones; you’re going to take them off before serving anyway).
– 1 cup of crushed graham crackers
– 2 Tablespoon of sugar
– ½ Tablespoon of cinnamon (optional)
– 5 Tablespoons of butter (melted)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. You want the crust to be moist and come together when you pinch some of it. Spoon crust into the cupcake tins … enough in each to cover the bottom. I use a regular spoon to compact the crust into the tins!
– 3 packages of 8 ounce cream cheese
– 1 cup of sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
– 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt
With a hand mixer or stand mixer cream the cream cheese and sugar together (whisk for about 2 or 3 minutes). Add the eggs, ONE AT A TIME (wait for each egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next). Add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake tin, fill to about 1/8th of the top. Cheesecake does not rise like cupcakes but leave a little room at the top.
TIP: I usually use an ice cream scoop. Typically 1 full scoop = 1 mini cheesecake
Heat water in a tea kettle or over the stove. Place the roasting pan or Pyrex dish on 1 rack below the center rack of the oven and fill about half way with the boiling water.
Place the cheesecakes on the center rack right above the pan of water.
Cook for about 25-35 minutes or until the centers of the cheesecakes wiggle just a little! Set out to cool.
Place cheesecakes in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or put them in the freezer for 1-2 hours! THIS IS IMPORTANT! You don’t want to melt the cakes while torching.
After a couple hours take the cheesecakes out of their lining (you don’t want to burn the paper …. I made that mistake, not fun). Spoon about a Tablespoon of sugar on each cake (a little less, a little more, depends on how much sugar crust you want).
NOW TORCH THOSE BABIES! One at a time though and carefully! Make sure the sugar caramelizes then set aside for a couple minutes for the sugar to harden.
TIP: Depends on where you live, but I live in a small apartment and had to step outside to torch these. I did not want the fire alarm to go off! BE CAREFUL!
GRAB A SPOON ∙ CRACK THAT SUGAR SHELL ∙ DEMOLISH