Once upon a (luckily long gone) time, I actually hated cheesecake. My experience with this delectable treat in VIetnam was filled with little more than disappointment, from the dense and hard bakes cheesecake to the excessively gelatinous no-bake ones sitting in the local bakery’s front display. Not until I came to America did the world of cheesecake truly unfolded, and I’ve become a die-hard cheesecake fan ever since.
I came up with this cheesecake recipe through a fortunate accident, a.k.a my absent-mindedness in forgetting to buy sour cream. I simply substitute sour cream with heavy whipping cream, and found a smooth and creamy texture that was (of course) more palatable. I also added some lemon juice for extra sourness, and found it to be much more adjust-able than sour cream.
Make: 18 cupcakes, standard cupcake pan
For the crust:
1 cup of graham crumbs
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
2 packs (8oz) cream cheese
½ cup white sugar
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup milk
pinch of salt
Let your (beloved Philadelphia) cream cheese sit til it’s room temperature. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream to just a little under stiff peak, cover with cling film and let chill in the fridge.
Melt the butter in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Pour melted butter into graham cracker crumb. Add vanilla extract, sugar and mix well with a rubber spatula. Crust mixture should feel damp but not too wet.
Prepare cupcake liners. Divide the wet crumb mixture into individual molds and press well to create a flat and even crust.
Preheat oven to 350F, make sure rack is positioned so that cupcake pan is in the middle of the oven. I tend to use both upper and lower heat for baking.
With a hand / stand mixer (trust me, your arms will thank you), beat cream cheese with sugar on high speed until soft and fluffy, gradually add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add salt, lime juice (adjust to your liking) and vanilla extract. Mix well.
With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until just combine.
Divide the filling into lined cupcake molds. ( Tip: use an ice-cream scooper ). Bake in preheated oven (350F) for 18-20 minutes, cool for 15 minutes in the oven with door slightly ajar.
Woah-la ! Fresh out of the oven !
I played around with the flavors a bit and added salted caramel. Yum !
You can also make coffee cheesecake by adding 2 tbsp of instant coffee powder and cut back on the lime juice. I added a little cocoa powder to the graham crust to feign the taste of chocolate cookie crust as well, Now that I think about it, Oreo would have made a more suitable crust for this coffee-flavored filling.
Trust me, they were hearts before going into the oven…