December 31, 2013

Champagne Baby Cheesecakes - Happy New Year!

I could make tons of excuses about why I've been away, but the real reason is that I lost my inspiration.  I hit a cooking brick wall, so to say.  BUT I'm back and it feels so good to play around in my kitchen again!  I thought I would ease back in the swing of the things with a Toasty classic: baby cheesecakes!


New Years is going to be a low key affair this year after two years of expensive shenanigans where we had the most fun hanging out in the room with everyone before.  Champagne, appetizers, and games await me in Glover Park, so I thought I would contribute to the night with my signature dessert with a New Years twist!  (And also a candied bacon caramel host gift, look out for that!)


I use my typical cheesecake base of 8 oz of cream cheese, 2 eggs, and about 1/4 - 1/2 cups of sugar and added champagne that I reduced to one quarter of its volume to concentrate the festive flavor.  The cheesecakes are topped with champagne macerated strawberries and then a strawberry champagne whipped cream, using some of the macerating juice and fresh champagne for a bubbly topper!


So what's your favorite kind of cheesecake?  What do you guys want to see me put in one next?





Champagne Baby Cheesecakes
Crust
1 sleeve of graham crackers
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted butter

Champagne reduction
1 cup of champagne

Champagne Filling
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup champagne reduction
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

Champagne Macerated Strawberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup champagne

Strawberry Champagne Whipped Cream
1/2 cup of heavy cream, very cold
2-4 tablespoon powdered sugar (I like it less sweet, do it to your taste)
1 tablespoon macerating juice
splash of champagne
pinch of salt

Begin by combining all ingredients for the macerated strawberries.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.  A container with a wider base is ideal so that the strawberries are all in contact with the champagne.

Next, make the champagne reduction.  Add 1 cup of champagne to a small saucepan and reduce to about 1/4 cup volume over medium heat.  Let come to room temperature before making the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350 F

To make the crust, first pulse the graham cracker in the food processor until you have pretty fine crumbs.  Pulse in the sugar and salt.  In a separate bowl, combine the crumb mixture and the melted butter.

Add a teaspoon of crumbs to each well of a lined mini muffin pan.  Pat down by squishing the crumbs with a second mini muffin tin.  Brush off any crumbs from the bottom and bake at 350 F for 5 minutes, until the crusts have just browned.

While the crusts are cooling, prepare the filling.  Begin by creaming together the cream cheese and the sugar with an electric mixer.  When combined, add the champagne reduction.  Add the vanilla extract and salt.  Finish by adding the eggs one at a time.
Pour into the baby crust almost to the top of the liners and then bake at 350 F for 12 minutes. 

Let cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes and then pop in the fridge for about an hour to set.

Right before serving, make the strawberry champagne whipped cream. In a bowl, begin to whip the heavy cream until just thickened.  Add the macerating juice and resume.  Lightly sprinkle over the powdered sugar while whipping just before soft peaks are formed.  When you are almost finished, add the champagne and pinch of salt.  Finish whipping to create soft peaks.

To assemble, pile a few macerated strawberries on the cooled baby cheesecakes and top with the whipped cream.  Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. Sarah, Thanks for the visit to my blog! Nice to meet you! Love these champagne baby cheesecakes…so luscious looking! Looking forward to many more visits.

    ReplyDelete
  2. my pleasure! been lurking for quite a bit… lol glad you liked!

    ReplyDelete

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