Prickly Pear Mini Cheesecakes with Ganache Topping
Approx cost: €2
Approx calories (per Mini Cheesecake): ~340
Approx preparation time: 30 mins
G reetings everyone. I have an announcement to make. I’ve been cheated! Who is the heinous perpetrator, you may ask? The French language, I tell you! I was in the store last night (incidentally I finally bought some Okra… yay! Stay tuned to hear how that went!) and what should I see but a whole stack of exotic looking, and rather enticingly named fruits: “Figue de Barbarie”. Hell yeah, I thought… I freaking LOVE figs, and I’m all up for trying new varieties. I load a bag full of them, my little head brimming with the thought of stuffing them into my mouth, delicious fig juice running down my chin. Well, call me stupid – it would seem that these are nothing like “figs”. Indeed, in English they’re actually known as Prickly Pears, or Cactus Pears. Perfectly pleasant little fruits, but certainly not figs! … sigh, oh well. You live and learn! In any case, as I said, they’re not half bad. They have a lot of very hard little seeds inside, but you can just swallow those things down (or store them up in your cheek like a squirrel and machine-gun them out at a passing pet / sibling / child etc (if anyone asks, that wasn’t my idea!)). They’re not too sweet so they actually go really well in a dish like this, although you could equally make them into a savoury dish.
So there you go – don’t be tricked by these next time you’re out and about! In other news, 2 days from now I’ll be drawing the winner for my 100th post giveaway, so good luck in advance to all the people who’ve taken part! Enjoy these little no-bake, miniature cheesecakes. I often find that one big cheesecake is too much. You feel obliged to eat it and let’s face it, cheesecake isn’t the most healthy of dishes! This is all about portion control. It can be whipped up in about 20-30 minutes and really doesn’t cost that much to make. Plus, individual always looks more fancy than one giant one doesn’t it? I guess you don’t even need to put fake-fig on top either… you could equally put other fruit, berries, chocolate etc – the choice is yours! Hope you’re having a good Sunday!
- ~90g Cream Cheese
- 20g Butter
- 20g good quality Plain Chocolate
- 2 tbsps Cream
- 3-4 “Digestive” style biscuits (graham crackers in US)
- 1 Prickly Pear
- 1 zest from half a Lemon
- 2 tsps Honey
- Start off by smashing up the biscuits until they reach a fine crumb. Melt the butter and mix well into the biscuit crumb.
- Next, mix the honey and lemon zest in with the cream cheese, whisking well to make the cheese more manageable.
- Now we’ll move on to “building” the cheesecakes. I find a small cookie cutter is just perfect for building individual cakes and so forth. Lay it flat on the plate and place half of the cookie mixture at the bottom. Press it out firmly with a spoon to compact it down. Spoon out half the cream cheese mixture on top and spread it around carefully, pressing it down, to cover the base. Gently lift the cookie cutter away, applying a little down force on the cream cheese with the back of a spoon to stop the cheese also being lifted away.
- To prepare the prickly pear, trim the top and bottom away from the fruit and then make a cut from top to bottom on the flesh on the outside. Put your thumbs in the cut and peel it back to expose the fruit inside. Chop the “pear” into thin slices and arrange on top of the individual cheesecakes, before refrigerating them for 30 minutes or so, prior to serving.
- For the ganache, place the chocolate into a small pan and heat very gently. When almost melted, add in the butter and continue to heat very gently, stirring all the time. When the butter has melted, add in the cream and mix, continuing to heat. You should notice the consistency change to become thicker.
- You can serve the ganache anyway you like – personally I decided to “pipe” it out. I don’t have a piping bag so I find if you take a strong food-safe bag, like a freezer bag, place the ganache into the corner and cut a tiny corner off you can “pipe” with it in a similar fashion. Serve over, or with the refrigerated cheesecakes and enjoy!