Jun 29 2010

Quick Tips: Sweet n Small

Mmmm. Miniature desserts. I love the novelty of making desserts smaller, it seems to add about.. 10% extra cute factor.

It’s also useful when you have the kind of dessert that is a little bit messy to cut up and serve up when everyone can just eat their own little version.. No cutting up involved. This is handy when you have that lemon curd which maybe didn’t thicken properly or that cheesecake mix that seems a teensy bit runny (horrible word to use, I know.) Nonetheless these mixes still taste delicious! But they’re just not going to set in a mix. Solution? Stick them in a small ramekin with some crushed biscuits as a base. Easy.

This post is also handy if you have that little bit of extra mixture left over and you’re not sure what to do with it. Stick it in a ramekin, I says.

Today I’m posting about mini cheesecakes and mini lemon tarts – two easy no bake desserts that are great for a dinner party, or any excuse, really…

This tip is not just handy for no-bake desserts though. The ramekin is your friend! Stick excess mix from brownies, cake mix, hell, even cookie dough into a greased ramekin and you’re sure to produce adorable miniature desserts. Other mini-desserts to stick in a ramekin that I love include:
* Apple crumbles (dump in apples, lemon juice, sugar & cinnamon in ramekin, cover with a mixture of oats/flour/butter/brown sugar/extra cinnamon and bake away. serve with cream or a scoop of ice-cream. a great winter warmer!)
* Berry crumbles same principle as above, only with berries
* Miniature pies (any other sweet fruit mixture into ramekin, cover with circle of pasty that fits the ramekin top. bake. this can also be used for savoury miniature pies.)

There are billions (i’m sure) of other ways you can utilise your ramekins, sweet & savoury to make those regular-sized pies and desserts into cute individual servings.

Ok, let’s get to the actual cheesecake and lemon tart. (Here’s one I prepared earlier!… lol.)

Ramekin Lemon tarts are so incredibly easy, it’s criminal.

Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of crushed biscuit/butter mixture into the bottom of your ramekins.

Then fill ramekins up with lemon curd. This stuff is easy enough to whip up (a quick mix of butter, eggs, lemon juice and sugar). OR if you’re feeling super lazy (don’t worry, I won’t judge), you can buy this stuff in a jar from Coles or Woolies. For the general recipe that I used, click here. I did actually write a super long post with pix on lemon tarts but unfortunately Firefox erased it all, leaving me with a crushing sense of failure… Hopefully i’ll get the motivation to use up another 2-3 hours to rewrite it again sometime soon! For the meantime..

Easy. Delicious. Fun times!

Make this one today! ^^

Next up we have the lemon cheesecakes. This one is marginally more time consuming, but pretty much just as easy. We’re going for the no-bake version in this recipe.

Cheesecake mix is so, so, so easy. It’s basically a mixture of cream cheese (I use Philadelphia), 1 can of condensed milk and lemon juice. Seriously. That’s it!

Click here for the exact recipe I used. I highly recommend the Exclusively Food blog. It’s very well written with a lot of classic Aussie recipes – which are well explained with pretty photography. :)

Most cheesecake recipes tell you to use an electric mixer. Pfft. I just used a wooden spoon and it turned out perfect. (Plus, saved on the washing up.) Anything to save Mother Nature’s precious water resources…. Also anything to avoid washing up!

I only made 1 small variation to the recipe: I added a teensy bit of agar agar (seaweed based thickener, basically a vegan replacement for gelatine) to ensure that it would thicken up, which it did. The exclusively food blog noted that the lemon juice should be enough of a thickener, but I noticed some of the comments noting that their mix did not thicken enough – a problem I’ve had in the past, so I thought add to my chances with the agar agar. But its up to you – it’s all about experimentation. My mix however, did turn out perfectly – it set quite well.

So. Instead of ramekins, I was at a friend’s place in Japan, he did not have ramekins… long story short – we used small tin foil cake tins, which I think are adorable. I don’t think I’ve seen them in Australia before, but hopefully I can find them again! Either way, you can definitely replace the foil tins with the ramekins.

Same as with the lemon tarts, begin with lining your tarts with tasty biscuit mix.

Start pouring in your dreamy-creamy-delicious cream cheese/condensed milk/lemon juice filling.

Continue pouring in all your filling until you have used up all your ramekins/filling…whichever comes first.

Until you’re all done!

Yay! Finished. Now stick them all in the fridge for an hour or two, or until completely set (test it for firmness by giving it a bit of a nudge.)

Obviously nothing is finished without my scientifically acclaimed ‘test bite’.

Yum! Super simple and totally tasty. Give these ones a try today!

xoxo

Christine