As the last few days before Christmas approach, I’m always trying to do more with what I have already at home. Stores are crazy busy, farmers markets are only once or twice a week here so certain things I’ll have to wait for. Upon taking stock of my freezer and pantry, I found some chocolate pepparkakor (Swedish style gingersnaps) in my freezer from a recipe I did a couple of weeks ago. They were in various states of broken so I thought, “These would make a perfect base for cheesecake.”
Because I didn’t want to occupy the oven any more than I already was with the variety of other baking I was doing I wanted to do a no-bake variety. The crust only takes about 10 minutes in the oven. In that time, the filling was whipped together and I was able to continue on with other tasks.
The main flavour came from a wonderful dehydrated raspberry from Sunrise Organic Gardens. They’re not dried like raisins, but fully dehydrated. I had been enjoying a few of them in my tea, but when I put some in a spice grinder, they turned into the most beautiful and aromatic blush coloured powder. It was like concentrated summer in a few glorious teaspoons. So in an instant, I had a gorgeous and delicious dessert that will be a star at my Christmas dinner!! It’s so quick, you can enjoy it too!
Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Tarts:
For the Spiced Chocolate Cookie Crust:
2 cups coarsely ground spiced chocolate cookie crumbs (if you don’t have the exact cookie I baked, you can use a blend of regular chocolate cookie crumbs and gingersnap cookie crumbs)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup butter
For the Raspberry Cheesecake Filling:
100g/4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp white sugar
50g/2 oz dehydrated raspberries, ground into a powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
For the crust, place the butter and maple syrup in a small pot over medium heat. When the butter has melted pour the mixture over the cookie crumbs in a medium bowl. Stir together until the cookie crumbs are moistened. Spoon about 2 Tbsp of this mixture into mini muffin pan cups. Press the centre of each to ensure the sides of the cup reach the upper edges of the muffin cup. There is enough crust mixture for 24 mini muffin cups. Bake for 8-10 minutes. While still warm, press the centre of the cookie cup again to form a well to spoon the filling in, as the depression tends to fill in while baking. Allow to cool in the pans.
For the filling, add the cream cheese, sugar, dehydrated raspberries, vanilla extract and sour cream to a medium bowl. Stir together until smooth. Add about a tablespoon of filling to each cookie cup and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight. Makes 24 mini cheesecake tarts.