Thursday, January 2, 2014

Savoury Cheesecakes

For my birthday I got a mini cheesecake pan (which is exciting in so many ways!) I was dying to use it. It was my friend Briana's Birthday and I wanted everything I brought to say "Bri". I topped these with some Jalapeño Jam we had made in the summer. Theses were pretty easy to throw together and I actually made them at the same time as the cupcakes with Strawberry Rhubarb frosting. This is an original recipe I came up with, just for Bri!

Savoury Cheesecakes


8 oz or 1 package light cream cheese
1 package Boursin cheese - Any flavour, I used Herb and Garlic

6 Breton Vegetable Crackers - Any good quality cracker will work here
1 Egg White

1/2 Cup Jalapeño Jelly


Preheat Oven to 300ºF

Put crackers in food processor to crumble evenly, once they are just crumbs pour in egg white to help them clump together. Divide and spoon into the bottom of the 12 wells of the mini cheesecake pan (a mini muffin pan would probably also work for this recipe, you may want to line them). Place in heated oven for about 10 minutes or until crisp and come out looking like new little crackers.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese and boursin cheese together in a bowl.

Once the bottoms come out of the oven, start placing spoonfuls into the wells on top. The heat will help the cheese to form to the cracker bottom and hold it all together. I used a mini "ice cream" type scoop and pressed the cheese mixture into each one until they were all fairly even.

Remove from the pan once cooled and top with Jalapeño Jelly.

Makes 12 mini cheesecakes. I didn't get a picture of these ones, but that way you can make them until they look good to you!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting

I'm a bit late on these as I made them for a party we went to just before Christmas. They turned out really cute and festive, in part I think because I made the icing look swirled like peppermint so that people would know what they were getting into. They were a bit heavy to me overall. I found the cake to be a little dense and the icing to be thick and very peppermint-y. I would definitely still make them again, just with a few changes. I found this recipe through Baked By Rachel which is an awesome blog, I follow on Twitter and Pinterest. Her pictures are amazing and get me every time.

On with the cupcakes!



4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 Cup skim milk (Or whatever you have!)
3/4 Cup Cake and Pastry flour (AP should work too, sifted)

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1.5 Cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or less if you choose)
4-6 Tbsp water


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a mini muffin/cupcake pan with 20 liners. Thats how many I got out the recipe, you could get plus or minus a couple

Cream together butter and sugar to start the cupcakes. Add vanilla paste and egg whites. Process until the batter is no longer lumpy and add remaining dry ingredients, with the milk last.

Mix until ingredients are just combined. Divide among liners, roughly 3/4 full, I found a mini (ice cream type) scoop works well for this size of cupcake to keep them all pretty even.

Bake for 13-15 minutes (in my non convection oven) on the middle rack or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in tins for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooking, beat together softened butter, icing sugar and peppermint extract. Add 2-3 tbsp of the water, to help keep the icing sugar from going everywhere when you start mixing.
Slowly add more water until a thick but still spreadable consistency is reached, depending how you plan to frost your cupcakes.

Cover well until ready to use.

Wait until cooled completely to frost. I used a small round tip and created the stripes in my frosting by placing red food colouring in stripes upward from the tip of my bag, so the icing would dye as it came out.
I would recommend a disposable bag for this as it will more than likely stain your bag.

Strawberry Rhubarb Swiss Meringue Buttercream

It was my friend Briana's Birthday recently and I wanted to make something that said "Bri". We do all of our "old lady" things together, like knitting, canning, pickling and so on. Bri had given me some delicious Vanilla Rhubarb preserves that she had made (from her own backyard) and I wanted to put that into the icing. I was a bit short on what the recipe called for so I puréed up some fresh strawberries and mixed those in too. The outcome was once again, the best icing I have ever made. There were no cupcakes left and they were all gone before everyone was even at the party. I used a boxed cupcake again for these as I was in a bit of a time crunch and didn't have enough Eggs to conquer some Anna Olson Vanilla cupcakes. Next time though... Here's the modified recipe from the Strawberry Jam Buttercream I made earlier this year.

Strawberry Rhubarb Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Adapted from Martha)


4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Rhubarb Preserves
1/2 Cup Puréed Strawberries


In the heatproof bowl, either of an electric mixer or you can transfer it after, set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees). I have never been able to get mine to 160. I usually top out about 145º. I also wouldn't whisk this by hand if you don't have to. Your arm will be sore. I used my little hand beater and it still took about 10 minutes to get to 145º and fluffy.

Transfer or Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

This is where it starts to get a bit tricky, I was really lucky this time as it came together great.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating on medium high after each addition. Do not add more butter until the all incorporated (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes or stir with a spatula by hand.

Stir in jam and purée with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth, mine looked a little curdled after this part so I put the bowl back on the mixer and mixed with the whip attachment for about a minute on medium high and it came back together. If you have more problems, this link should help you out!

I piped these pretty high, I had 18 cupcakes and still had enough to pipe them all this high and cover half an Angel Food Cake (which I had left over, delicious). I used my large star tip (1M) piped the bottom layer and then did the extra swirl on the top.