Martha Stewart's Dessert of the Month: Strawberries-and-Cream Cheesecake...Disguised as Cupcakes!

I found this recipe in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living (the one with the Fourth of July stuff in it)...it looked pretty great, so I thought hmmmm...cupcakes...and then I thought: why not?

The basic thing with this recipe is time...I got all my ingredients on Friday morning around 8:00 on the way to work...btw...this is a first: while I was in Shoppers Food Warehouse, this cute guy comes over to me and asks me what kind of perfume I was wearing...he liked it, he said...it's Coco by Chanel...what a great way to start the day, huh? Also, I found this cool cupcake carrier at Shoppers...It's called Bake - n - Take..3-piece cupcake pan, tray and carrier. It holds 24 cupcakes on two levels...you can take 12 or 24. It's the best carrier I've found yet and mine only cost $14.95. I found another one online here for $19.95.

During the day I was getting excited to make the cupcakes...then I really read the recipe and found out that I had to roast the strawberries for 1 hour and thirty minutes and let them cool completely. (You know how literally I take recipes, right?) So I get home at 6ish and by the time I get ready to do this first part, it's like 8:00 p.m. Step one completed by 10:00 p.m.

Okay, so now it's the next morning and somehow we don't have any eggs (someone got hungry in the middle of the night??) but then I also decided that I wanted to use the silicone cups with ridges like real cupcake liners..so I get on the road and go to Williams Sonoma and no go...I couldn't believe they didn't have them. On to Home Goods, and they don't have them either. Sheesh! Next stop, Crate and Barrel and there they were: . I was so happy!

Things were going super smoothly for a while and then I messed up and and added too much sugar to the graham crackers (for the crust)...but I didn't realize that until I was making the creamcheese mixture...and then I remembered I had a 3:45 eye doctor appt and it was already 3:00...OMG! Okay...so I made the crust stuff again, baked it and since it had to cool anyway...put everything else on hold until I got back from the eye doctor...where, I might add, I had a very nice time with Dr. Espejo at Pearl Vision in Rockville, MD, he's the best!...got back home at 5:30 (had to stop for something...it's always something, right)...and now at least 24 hours have somehow gone by since this experiment began. I think that's a record for me.

After dinner I finish up the creamcheese/strawberry concocution and begin to make the cupcakes. I had already baked the graham cracker crust (put about and tsp and a half in the bottom of each silicone cup). I spooned the strawberry mixture into each cup and then added the part without the strawberries. The actual baking was...how do you say...a guessing game. According to the cheesecake recipe, it's supposed to bake at least an hour...but the cupcakes were much smaller. I think I ended up doing baking them for 45 minutes. Then I let them cool off and finally, finally, finally, I put them to bed in the fridge to set up over night! By this time, I was tired of this experiment (lol)...but by morning, I refueled and was excited to see how they turned out.

They were GREAT! I peeled off the silicone cup and the cute little cheesecake cupcakes stood up all on their own...so cute. We ate some for breakfast. But here's the best: Layla was in the the photo shoot...she thought it went well...so well, in fact, that she helped herself to two of these babies when I had turned around to give Harry (our French bulldog) an ice cube. This is how she looked AFTER she ate them. You might think that she's embarrassed by her behavior...no way! She's just waiting for me to turn around again!

This time I can't tell you to "NOW GO MAKE IT"...this one takes time and some guessing....okay, I think I'll say it anyway: JUST GO MAKE IT!

Here's the recipe for the cheesecake that I found on Martha Stewart's web site:

Strawberries-and-Cream Cheesecake

Serves 8 to 10
This dessert is proof that cheesecake can be as unexpected as it is delicious. Its surprise comes when intense oven-roasted strawberries are folded into a blend of tangy mascarpone and cream cheese. The mixture is spread over a graham cracker crust and covered with a rich vanilla layer. The result will please on every level.


1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 4 sheets)

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 pound plus 13 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved

8 3/4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 300°. Place strawberries in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with corn syrup, and toss gently to coat. Bake until syrup thickens and strawberries turn deep red and shrink slightly, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer strawberries and syrup to a medium bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Let cool completely.

2. Raise oven temperature to 350°. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter in a small bowl. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to make an even layer. Bake until crust is firm to the touch and has just darkened, about 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let crust cool completely.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Put cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, then gradually add remaining cup sugar and the salt. Scrape down sides of bowl; add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl, and mix in vanilla bean seeds and mascarpone until very creamy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. (Reserve vanilla bean for another use.)

4. Transfer 5 cups cream cheese mixture to bowl with mashed strawberries; stir to combine. Pour strawberry-cream cheese mixture on top of crust; smooth with an offset spatula. Carefully spoon dollops of plain cream cheese mixture on top, smoothing with an offset spatula.

5. Wrap the exterior of the springform pan in 2 layers of foil; set in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water until water reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours (up to overnight).

Note: Roasted strawberries can be mashed and folded into all of the mascarpone-cream cheese mixture, but two contrasting layers make for a prettier presentation. For best results, use an offset spatula to spread small dollops of the plain cheese mixture gently and evenly over the berry base.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:39 AM

    Hi cupcake queen!
    another great blog - i have been wanting to try making mini cheese cakes for a while and this sounds like a great recipe.
    two questions:
    when doing the cupcakes, did you also place them in a water bath? i always find water baths a bit tricky and try and avoid them where possible, was wondering for purposes of retaining the lightness, whether a water bath is more, or less essential given the cakes are now so small?
    2) 45 min to bake huh? thats seems quite long as my regular cupcakes only take about 15 min to bake. hm...did u check after 30 min or did u just guess it would be half the time of a full sized cake?

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  2. Heather10:22 AM

    HI,
    Chefscatalog.com and amazon have a mini cheesecake pan that looks really neat. It's basically like a muffin pan, but has removable bottoms (so you could push the finished cheesecake up through the cup?). This blog made me smile, because I was looking at them last night trying to come up with an excuse to buy one! Thanks. =)

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  3. Terila7:12 PM

    I'll take a half a dozen Laylas. :)

    Terila
    Teri in LA

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  4. I am soo going to try this recipe

    I love coming to your site, you always have something interesting posted

    the best part is including your dog in the pictures

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  5. This recipe looks delicious, an adult yet fun dessert. I will have to keep it in mind for the next time I chance a dinner party. Thanks for passing on the idea!

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  6. Always love reading your blog. You make it comes alive. I also love those carriers you were talking about. Maybe next time, I get friends who happened to hop over your end of the world to bring me one.

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  7. Anonymous10:25 PM

    omg, this takes too long

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  8. Hey did you have any problems with the water bath? I just tried the raspberry cheesecakes from her cupcake book and they were a mess. - I couldn't get the roasting pan out of the oven without drowning the cupcakes.

    I'm going to try again tonight- any tips?

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