The Mister and I thought it would be a grand idea to hang out at the beach today. Since it was all gross and muggy, we wanted to have a little swim and maybe lay under a tree for a bit. Unfortunately, we did not plan our afternoon as well as we should have.
Upon arriving at the beach, we quickly realized that the swimming conditions were…well, not good. Due to strong currents, waves, higher than acceptable water grossness levels and a brewing storm, it was not recommended that anyone should swim today. So we proceeded to splash our feet in the smelly water and watch the lovely black clouds move in thinking that someone was getting an awesome storm, but that we would (like almost always) miss out on the fun.
On our walk home, we soon came to realize that this time, we wouldn’t be missing out on the fun. It started spitting, then raining, then went into full torrential down pours to the point storm drains got clogged and Roncesvales Avenue became one giant, fast moving river. It was pretty epic, and we were very, very wet. We spent a good 40 minutes splashing in giant sandal sucking puddles, taking time outs under random store awnings to wipe rain from our eyes and watch the lightning and listen to thunder before walking and giggling our way home, soaked to the bone.
Though we were disappointed with the fact we never did get to swim, getting caught in the down pour ended up being far more fun in the end. It brought back memories of our vacation in Belize, when we got caught in many random down pours, soaked to the bone, running for shelter under random store awnings with locals and fellow tourists, watching the crazy storms blow over. There’s something about getting caught in a warm, summer rain that is so very refreshing and invigorating. I think it may be one of my all-time favourite things to experience each and every summer.
Now that I am home, in dry clothes and in need of something deliciously sweet – why not follow a favourite summer experience with an all-time favourite dessert? CHEESECAKE! Since I am currently without a proper spring-form pan, I decided to make some single serving cheesecakes in a muffin pan. No cutting or plates required!
So, I introduce to you, a wonderful Raspberry Caramel Cheesecake to enjoy with all the lovely rain.
Raspberry Caramel Mini Cheesecakes with Ginger Snap Crust
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
Makes approximately 8-10 cheesecakes – Recipe can easily be doubled for more
For the filling:
2 cups cream cheese, soft and at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
pinch of salt
For the crust:
3/4 cups ginger snap cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
For the raspberry topping:
3oz fresh raspberries
1 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grab your trusty muffin pan, and fill with paper liners. I had some awesome Spiderman papers lying around, so these bad boys are going to be Spiderman themed. Total nerd cheesecakes!
***editor’s note: spray the inside of each paper with a bit of cooking spray, as adding caramel to the crust will cause it to stick to the paper like mad!***
In a small bowl, combine your crushed ginger snap cookies, melted butter and sugar to make your crust. Once everything is mixed together evenly, fill each cup with about 1-1.5tbsp of your crumble crust mixture. Press firmly so the crust is nice and compact. Bake for about 5 minutes, remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
In a blender or a small bowl with a hand blender, puree the raspberries and sugar. If you’re picky about seeds and thickness, pour the mixture through a strainer – if you’re lazy like me, set puree aside to use as is.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. As you see in my photo, I rushed the deal and put everything in the bowl at once. I blame this mistake on getting caught in a torrential downpour earlier today and it messing with my ability to do anything right this evening. All that rain soaked me so bad I can’t think properly. That happens, right? Right. Anyways, once your cream cheese is nice and fluffy, blend in your sugar until smooth. Add salt and vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time until everything is combined.
Grab your lined muffin pan, and begin building your cheesecakes! Squirt a small amount of caramel sauce on each of your little crusts. I did enough to essentially cover the top of the crust evenly with caramel. I love caramel, so I want them to be extra caramel-awesome-tastic; though the one downfall to using too much caramel is that the crust becomes kind of hard to remove from the paper of the liner. So for ease of removal, use a small squirt of caramel – or throw caution to the wind and drown the puppy in it!
Scoop about 2 tbsps of your cheesecake mixture into each cup.
Using a 1/4 tsp measuring device, spoon a few dabs of your raspberry puree onto each pile of cheesecake. Using a toothpick, or anything else that is thin and pointy, marble your puree into your cheesecake.
These puppies are ready for the oven! Bake cheesecakes for about 20-25 minutes, until the filling has set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. You’re supposed to refrigerate them for about 4 hours to chill before serving; but I’m not going to lie – it’s kind of hard to wait that long. Cooling them in the fridge does make them a ton easier to eat; but they can be eaten without the refrigeration.