If I could only eat one dessert for the rest of my life it would have to be cheesecake, preferably a baked one. I hear some people aren't fans of the baked variety, but I think those folk must be a little crazy in the head. Baked cheesecakes like this one have an awesome velvety texture that just melts in your mouth. Now how can that be a bad thing?
I like this particular version because it not only delivers in taste, but also in accessibility (non-food-processor owners like me will be pleased because it lends itself well to being completed by hand). The simplicity of it also means it'd be particularly good for any first-time cheesecake bakers. One tip to get you started: make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, you can even soften it very briefly in a microwave (about 20 seconds on high). This way you'll be less likely to over beat the mixture while trying to remove lumps, and will yield better results.
Btw feel free to use other berries of your choosing, even a mixed berry combination is nice. Plus if you don't want to make mini ones just use a 22cm springform tin instead.
100g plain sweet biscuits ( I use 'Super Wines')
50g butter, melted
60ml (1/4 of a cup) thickened cream
180g white eating chocolate, broken into pieces
375g cream cheese
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
110g (1/2 a cup) caster sugar
150g frozen cranberries, or other berries of your choice
Line a 6-hole Texas (3/4 cup) muffin pan with paper cases made from 17cm square sheets of baking paper.You could try using ready-made paper cases but I tried them once and they went soggy and were annoying to remove so I now stick with making my own.
Process the biscuits until fine. If you're like me and don't have a food processor, you can still achieve this by using a large mortar and pestle or by placing the biscuits in a ziplock bag (or two) and bashing with a rolling pin. Fun!
Mix the biscuit crumbs with melted butter until well combined. Divide among the paper cases and press down firmly. I use the back of an old spoon that I have bent backwards, makes the job easier. Leave in fridge for half an hour.
Place the cream and 130g of the chocolate in a small saucepan, stir over a low heat until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Beat the cream cheese, orange rind, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.
Divide the filling among the paper cases. Sprinkle the berries on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150 Celsius for 30 minutes. Leave to cool in the oven with the door ajar.
Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Melt the remaining chocolate and drizzle over the cheesecakes.