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Friday 2 August 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Mini Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecakes

Happy National Cheesecake Day for Tuesday everyone!

What, you mean you didn't know? Didn't know that there was a WHOLE DAY to celebrate and eat cheesecake? Here at DSHQ we adore, no, worship the cool, creamy delight of a cheesecake. We've given you fruity cheesecakes, boozy cheesecakes, we've even given you the ultimate in sluttishness, CRUNCHIE CHEESECAKE. So we couldn't let the day pass by without another punt at the dessert of kings. And queens. And domestic sluts.

This is a cheesecake which has put a summer dress on: using ricotta instead of cream cheese keeps it light and fluffy, whilst their miniature size means you don't need to feel guilty about eating a 20cm one all to yourself - you can just eat six of these instead. 

Mini Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecakes (Makes 6)
You will need:

For the cheesecake:
  • 200g oaty biscuits
  • 60g butter
  • Handful dried berries (blueberries ideally)
  • 500g ricotta
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
For the compote topping:
  • 200g blueberries
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar (or normal caster sugar)
  • Glug of sloe gin or chambord (optional)
Make it!
The cheesecake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease six 6cm dessert rings. If you don't have any of these, you can use mini tartlet tins, which will make 4-5. 
  2. Place the biscuits in a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin until crumbled into fine crumbs, then tip into a bowl. 
  3. Melt the butter and stir into the biscuits until combined. Stir in the dried berries until evenly distributed. 
  4. Lightly grease a sheet of baking or greaseproof paper placed upon a baking tray. Place the dessert rings upon it. Spoon the mixture into the rings, filling them a quarter full (or more, depending on how thick you like your bases!) and press down firmly. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until golden. 
  6. Remove and place the sheet of paper and rings on a wire rack to cool. 
  7. Place the ricotta in a large bowl, along with honey and icing sugar, you may want to add a little more to taste. Split the vanilla pod with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Stir well until completely combined. 
  8. Once the bases are cool, spoon the mixture into the dessert rings, leaving a little room at the top. 
  9. Cover and chill in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.
The compote:
  1. Place the fresh blueberries in a saucepan, along with the sugar and glug of liqueur, if using. Alternatively, you could use 1 tbsp fruit juice or cordial.
  2. Heat gently for around 10 minutes, until the berries have reduced, but some still keep their shape. 
  3. Set aside to cool. 
  4. To assemble, gently push the cheesecakes out of their rings (pushing from the bottom usually works best). Spoon the compote over the top and decorate with fresh blueberries. If not eating straight away (you won't be able to resist) keep in the fridge until ready to serve. 

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