Mini Strawberry Clotted Cream Cheesecakes

Hi everyone, I'm sorry I've neglected you for so long, but the truth is I've been quite scared.

Scared of what? Blogs don't bite! Not in the literal sense anyway. (And yes, I do bite in case you were wondering).

Well, scared of not doing a good job, scared of not being very entertaining, scared of general excuses you come up with when you procrastinate.

As a university student I know a thing or two, or three or four... about procrastination, but alas, no more! A new day and a new challenge is always a fun way to get a new month started so here we go!

I challenged my boyfriend today to see who could get their abs toned fastest. He clearly has an advantage here, but I'm still determined.

So here comes the dilemma. This is a baking blog. Baking usually equals large amounts of flour, sugar and butter. It took a few minutes for me to realise that abs require special diets, something that doesn't really feel like very familiar territory.

But a challenge is a challenge so this baking blog is now a food blog, here to service your needs for sweet treats as well as healthy meals. It kinda feels like we're in an advertisement now.

The more the merrier, right? More blog writing means more fun for you, too.

This cheesecake was made before the idea of the challenge came up so I'm still in the clear. Had heaps of fun making it with my funny friend Lenny in our mid-semester break.

It's one of the easiest I've ever made and it would look absolutely adorable in mini cups or ramekins as well. The layering and different textures also kinda gets me excited.

Mini Strawberry Clotted Cream Cheesecakes
Adapted from Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell
We tweaked the recipe so that you don't end up with that pesky 50g of cream cheese and clotted cream leftover from the 250g packets.

125g gingernuts, broken
50g unsalted butter, melted

2 sheets (6g) leaf gelatine or 1/2 11g sachet powdered gelatine
250g low-fat cream cheese
100g golden caster sugar (or regular caster sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g clotted cream

500g fresh strawberries
100g sugar (or more to taste)

Whizz the gingernuts to crumbs in a food processor. Or, wrap the biscuits in a tea-towel and bash it with a rolling pin or simply bang the bundle repeatedly on the bench Jamie Oliver style until you get crumbs. Combine with melted butter in a bowl and stir until mixture is evenly coated. Divide the crumbs between 6 x 9cm (150ml) ramekins (or any vessel of your choosing), and press them into the base to form a crust.

If using gelatine sheets, cut them into wide strips and soak them in a small bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Drain off any excess water, and pour over another 2 tablespoons of water, submerging the sheets, and stand in another larger bowl of just-boiled water. Stir for a few minutes until it has all dissolved. If using powdered gelatine, sprinkle it on 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water in a small bowl and stir until it has all dissolved. Stand in another bowl of just-boiled water for a few minutes and mix again if the gelatin is being stubborn and doesn't want to dissolve properly.

Put the cream cheese in a small saucepan with the sugar and gently heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture liquifies and the sugar has dissolved. Give it a quick whisk to get rid of any lumps. It should be warm, the same temperature as the gelatine. Beat the gelatine and vanilla extract into the cream cheese and leave to cool.

Add the clotted cream to the cooled cream cheese mixture and whisk together. If you can still see some lumps, don't worry too much about it as they will all blend in when it is set. Divide the mixture between the ramekins over the gingernut base, cover with glad wrap and chill overnight or until set. The smaller they are the faster they will set.

To make the strawberry sauce, trim the leaves off the strawberries and cut into quarters or halves, depending on how smooth or chunky you would like the sauce to be. Simmer the strawberries with the sugar gently over medium heat until the juice from the strawberries thickens to form a sauce. Leave to cool completely and then cover and set aside until ready to use.

Remove the cheesecakes from the fridge when they are set and spoon the strawberry sauce on top of each one. Leave for about 10 minutes outside the fridge before serving to let the cheese soften the crust a little bit.

Notes: For an easy sauce heat 250g strawberry jam in a small saucepan over low heat until it liquifies and then stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Leave to cool and then cover until ready to use.

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