We’ve been getting mangoes in our Greenling box for a while now, and I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to pair it with ginger (I love pairing fruit with ginger, as evidenced by my cranberry-ginger sorbet). Plus, given that I have very recently found the inserts to my mini-cheesecake pan, I’ve had a hankering to make mini cheesecakes. Perfect — I’d use mango in the cake batter and ginger in the crust. It was settled.
I found a number of recipes for mini cheesecakes online and most of them didn’t call for a water bath. I had debated on and off about using one, but eventually decided not to. Using a water bath allows you to better regulate the temperature of the cake, thereby preventing cracks, but as I was garnishing the top with chocolate shavings anyway, I didn’t really care. Plus, I always manage to splash the top of my cake batter with the water.
I want to say that this recipe yields 24 mini cheesecakes, but I make pretty thick crusts, so I think for me it would only yield ~18 cheesecakes. I only made 1 batch (12 cheesecakes) and I had a ton left over.
You can adapt this recipe to fit a large springform pan, but if I’ve motivated you to bake minis and you need a mini-cheesecake pan, I purchased mine from Williams Sonoma about 2 years ago. I’m not sure if they still have it, but if they don’t and you’re in the market for one, make sure you get one with a non-stick surface (making for easy clean-up) and with removable inserts in the bottoms of the cups (making it easy to remove the cheesecakes from the pan).
Adapted from Cake on the Brain
For the crust:
- Pam spray
- 8 graham crackers, crushed (yields ~1 c.)
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. butter, melted (The original recipe called for 2 Tbsp. butter, but the crust just didn’t have the right consistency. I’ll probably add another Tbsp. for a total of 4 next time.)
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- Pinch of salt
For the batter:
- 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- Puree of 1 large mango, yielding ~3/4 c. (for best results, puree with a food mill)
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 c. sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the garnish:
- I used bittersweet chocolate shavings, but a bit of chopped mango or candied ginger would be nice also.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the inserts in the mini-cheesecake pan and spray each cup with Pam spray. Set the pan aside.
- Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add ~1 tsp. of the mixture (I used ~1.5 tsp. because I like crust) into each cup of the pan. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the cup with the back of a teaspoon or your fingers.
- Bake the crusts for ~10 minutes (took closer to 12 minutes for me), or until they have browned and baked together.
- Set aside on a rack to cool.
- Reduce the heat to 300 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low speed for ~2 minutes until it’s smooth.
- Increase the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time and mango. Blend until the mango and eggs are fully incorporated.
- Add the heavy cream and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the sugar and salt and mix until fully incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the cups on top of the crusts. Bake for ~20 minutes (mine actually took 23 minutes) until the batter has set (it may still be a bit jiggly). Set aside on a rack to cool, then keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours before attempting to remove the mini cheesecakes form the pan.
- When they’re fully cooled, remove the cheesecakes from the pan by pushing them straight up with your fingers. Remove the insert from the bottom of the crust and garnish the top of the cheesecake before serving.
Verdict: These were actually pretty light and fluffy instead of a dense mass of cheesecake, which I was really excited about. The mango worked beautifully in the recipe and turned the batter a beautiful shade of light yellow, while the ginger gave the crust a subtle nuance of heat; together, the mango and ginger gave the cake a bit of an Indian vibe. Some of mine sunk in the center =( probably because I got distracted and let the mixer mix the batter for a bit too long, which aerated it instead of mixed it. Still tasted great though!