Brighten up January with these deliciously beautiful lemon cheesecakes! Perfectly proportioned, fresh and lemony cheesecakes will brighten even the gloomiest of January days. Take a look!
On the recipe front, January is off to a very slow start. Turtle speed comes to mind. Don't worry, it's not a sign of things to come, just easing in the year the slow way...ha! And I can't think of a better way to ease in slowly than with cheesecake, can you?
How is it that we are half way through January already? I feel like I just blinked and here we are already. At least I have packed away all my Christmas decorations, so I don't feel like it's still the merry festive season. I got to say though, I like January. There was a time when I despised it and dreaded the clock to strike midnight on the last fleeting seconds of another year. I use to look back at all the things I didn't get done, didn't achieve, places I didn't go and learning experiences I that were inevitably unlearned. It almost felt like a big fat failure start to the year. Despite all of the good that may have been in the previous year, it was always overshadowed by whatever went wrong.
Somehow, that's not the case any more. This January the first, for example, I bounced out of bed at 7:00 am, pulled on some clothes and headed straight to the beach with my four legged companion in tow. My two legged husband as well. It was cold but refreshing and everything felt new. I know this all sounds pretty corny, but it just felt like a fresh start. Kind of like a clean slate to start over and make everything right again. At least for a day.
And now we're two weeks in and it's still feeling petty good. The positive feeling is still there. Well most of the time, I am human after all! I'm getting stuff done, ticking boxes and enjoying January.
I've been ice skating which is something I haven't done in years and years. I live in Southern Spain so we're kind of short on ice...ha! So, that was kind of fun. I also went bowling with the family which was a very unusual adventure for us. Again, surprised myself by how fun it was. Even Mike got into it and said we should go back more often. It was probably a one off but fun for the hour or so we were there. And last week, I went to the movies with Lola, my 16 year old. Okay, the movie choice, not so great out. Popcorn pretty tasty though.
Why is all this important? Well, it's probably not really. But one of the things I vowed we would do last year was spend more time together as a family. We failed. It's so easy to let life just get in the way of spending an hour or so together. Plus, have you met teenagers? They don't usually want any part of hanging out with the old fogies. But somehow January we're finding out that we don't hate each other too much. At least for now. I'll report back on the how it goes in few weeks. We may have peaked in January.
I've also been cooking a lot. Okay, not much on the new recipe front, but just enjoying the kitchen and making lots of old recipes that we enjoy as a family. I love cooking. It really is my number one passion. A day without cooking feels like a day lost to me. A cooking opportunity I'm never getting back. Again corny. But it's just the cold hard fact of my life. I can easy spend hours in there when time is on my side and it just passes in the blink of an eye.
So what I'm hoping this coming week, is to get a bit more creative with some new recipes. Again there is so much I want to get started at, but always end up cooking old favourites. Note to self, make something new!
Notes about the cheesecake:
This is a beautiful looking dessert but very easy to achieve. Sometimes, layered desserts seem daunting. At least, that is how they used to feel to me. But when you break it down and look at it a layer at a time, it's pretty easy.
The lemon curd for example, can be made in advance. You can make and store this up to a few weeks in the fridge. So, keep that in mind if you are planning to make this dessert. I had mine already in the fridge a few days before making these cheesecakes. In fact, it's much easier to work with once it's cooled completely.
As for the cheesecakes themselves, they take no time at all to put together. It's just the easy biscuit base and a very simple cream cheese recipe. And they bake in just 15 minutes.
I used fresh unsweetened fresh whipping cream for this recipe and I recommend that's what you use. I'm not a huge fan of overly sweet desserts. And the lemon curd is pretty sweet. So topping it off with something fresh worked great.
These can be made in advance and refrigerated before serving. So they really are a great make ahead dessert. They are also small which makes them great to serve at a dinner party. This entire recipe is only one pack of cream cheese and that's divided between 12 cakes. So, when you look at it that way, it's the perfect size dessert. So you may as well have two.
They also freeze well as I'm finding out. I made them this past weekend and am treating myself to one a day! That's reasonable right? So, they are safely stored in the freezer out of my reach. But I am not past eating frozen desserts. It's been done.
Happy baking friends and enjoy January.
Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Makes 12 / Prep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 25 minutes
For the cheesecake:
1 - 8oz/200 gram pk of cream cheese
1 Cup/100 grams of digestive biscuits, crumbled
4-5 tablespoon butter, melted
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/3 Cup/65 grams sugar
For the lemon curd:
3 Large eggs
3/4 Cup/150 grams white sugar
Juice from 3 lemons
4 Tablespoons butter
For the topping:
1 Cup/240 ml whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl combine the digestive crumbs with the butter. Equally divide the biscuit crumbs between the 12 muffin tins. Press firmly into each tin.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, mix the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla and egg. Continue to mix until smooth. Evenly pour into the muffin tins. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until they are set in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Remove from the tins and transfer to the fridge to set completely.
Remove after about an hour and remove the paper liners.
In a stainless steel bowl placed over simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly. This is really important, otherwise you risk the chance of it curdling. Continue to stir until it becomes thick. This will take between 5-8 minutes. Once it has reached a lovely thick and creamy texture, immediately remove from heat. Put through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut in the butter and give a good stir.
Top each cheesecake with a spoonful of the lemon curd. Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream and give each cheesecake a swirl. Garnish with lemon zest if desired.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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