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Mini Cheesecakes

March 29, 2012

Long ago, the folks at Miele bragged that their steam oven (that we ended up getting) makes great cheesecake.  I used to buy the cheesecake assortments at Donalon’s but ever since Donalon’s roof collapsed 15 months ago now, I’ve been without.  It was the food I ate as I started to go into labor with AJ!   So (like the Miele rotisserie feature in their regular oven which I figured out when we lost our local grocery store,) I thought I’d try making cheesecake in the steam oven.

This week I had extra sour cream and cream cheese on hand, after making the Warm Artichoke and Spinach Dip by Ellie at the Food Network.  And heavy cream because I thought we’d be using the whipping creamer.  So I searched online for cheesecake recipes using those ingredients.  I found The Best NY Cheesecake Recipe at squidoo.com.

All the recipes I found used many packages of cream cheese, I only had one and I really didn’t want to commit to eating that much fat!  Then I happened upon the concept of “Mini Cheesecakes” and used the recipe at Allrecipes.com.  They suggested using muffin pans and lining them with paper liners.  I also researched cooking times at the Miele website, it seemed that steam ovens took twice as long as regular ovens.

From Squidoo, I learned that NY cheese cakes are special because they are so high.  Later, from Alton Brown, I learned that French cheesecakes are fluffy, American ones are dense.

From the Sqidoo recipe, I quartered the ingredient list, thus using:

  • 1 1/2 eggs =? 2 mediumish eggs
  • 3/8 c white sugar (is needed for friction to break up the cream cheese – I was tempted to use Stevia instead)
  • 1 pkg of cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/2 heaping T flour (Bob’s Red Mill gluten free)

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
  • enough butter to make them stick – 2T?

The instructions were to mix all the filling ingredients together all at once in the mixer, being careful to not over mix (which would add air and make the pan overflow).  Next time, I would make sure my cream cheese is room temperature, beat it with the sugar until soft and smooth.  Alton Brown’s show recommends putting the sour cream in first, beat it a bit to line the bowl such that the cream cheese doesn’t stick to the sides, but I’m not sure if there is enough sour cream in this recipe to do this…  For my batter, there were small clumps of cream cheese.

I used my large muffin pans (6 muffin size), lined it with cups, put a layer of crumb crust on the bottom of each (should have tamped it down with the bottom of a glass), and divided the batter evenly between the cups.

Once the muffin pan is filled and ready to cook, I covered it with aluminum foil tightly and put it in the steam oven for 30 minutes.  (Alton puts it in a water bath in a regular oven set at 250 degrees.)

When done, I noticed that the paper liners had pulled away from the sides of the muffin pan.  So it seems that the batter has a tendency to contract when cooking.  Alton lined his pan with parchment paper on the sides, I lined my muffin tins with paper cups. Problem solved!

When the cheesecakes were still warm, the clumps of cream cheese were indistinguishable.  But when they were refrigerator cold, they were.  So, blending with the kitchen aid until smooth is important.  And overblending to prevent overflowing is an issue for the NY (super tall) version is not an issue here.  I think warmer cream cheese will help too.  Plus blending the cream and sugar before adding the eggs.

Ahh, but the combination of cream, vanilla and lemon was devine!  And I can easily varying it all up (chocolate cookie crust, etc)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cococook permalink
    December 11, 2013 8:54 pm

    At which % humidity and how many degrees?

    • Stephanie permalink*
      December 12, 2013 12:06 am

      Our steam oven does not have a humidity setting, so I would assume 100% humidity. The temperature is set to 212°F, the boiling point of water.

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