Classic Creme Brûlée and Creamy Cheesecake collaborate to make these incredible Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes! With a custard based cheesecake topped with a yummy caramelized sugar topping, these mini treats are sure to be a huge hit!
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So I recently had Creme Brûlée for the first time ever at my uncle’s wedding, and I immediately fell in love! A creamy vanilla custard topped with crunchy caramelized sugar — it’s dessert heaven! So with today being National Creme Brûlée Day, I just had to make my very own Creme Brûlée flavoured dessert.
Mini Creme Brûlée Cheesecakes
Instead of making homemade Creme Brûlée, I decided to make something much, much easier — cheesecake! Mini cheesecakes, to be exact. These mini cheesecakes are way simpler to make than a traditional Creme Brûlée and a full-sized cheesecake.
There’s no need for water baths, super long baking times, or anything too difficult for beginner bakers. All you have to do is make the simple crust, cheesecake filling, bake for less than 30 minutes, chill, add some sugar on top and burn, baby, burn!
Graham Cracker Crust
Let’s start with the crust. I made a simple graham cracker crust, but I actually think vanilla wafer cookies would be a better choice for these cheesecakes. I added a little sugar to sweeten the crumbs and some butter to hold it all together.
I tried something new for the filling. Instead of a basic vanilla cheesecake, I decided to try a custard-style cheesecake. This was a complete shot in the dark because I’ve never tested it, nor have I ever seen anyone make cheesecake like this, but it actually came out amazing!
Custard Cheesecake Filling
To make the filling, I started by heating some heavy cream over the stovetop. Once it began to simmer, I removed it from the heat, mixed in some vanilla, then allowed it to cool for a few minutes. Then I mixed the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and salt together like normal.
Instead of using 2 whole eggs like I usually do, I used 5 egg yolks (which is basically the equivalent to 2 whole eggs). I decided to use egg yolks because that’s the base of most custards.
I then beat the egg yolks together, then slowly poured in the hot cream while whisking constantly. This is a basic step in custard making that’s supposed to temper the eggs so they don’t curdle while cooking. Although we’re not cooking a custard, so this was pretty much me trying to be edgy and different. But I do think it did something special to the cheesecake.
After mixing the heavy cream and eggs together, we’re gonna strain it into a measuring cup to get rid of any solid egg pieces that may have formed because of the heat. Slowly pour it into the cheesecake while beating with a mixer until every thing is completely combined and you’re done!
The batter was thinner than my normal cheesecake batters, so I was a little worried it would fail, but they ended up being perfect little delicious pieces of cheesecake heaven! The cheesecake doesn’t rise that much so it may not reach the top of your cupcake liners.
You can fill them all the way to the top, but you may end up with less cheesecakes. The height isn’t that important with these cheesecakes though because you’ll have to remove the liners anyway so they don’t catch on fire when you’re torching the top. Super important, do NOT skip that step.
Burnt Sugar Topping
On to the topping. Like I mentioned above, it is very important that you remove the paper liners before you top the cheesecakes. Paper + fire = bad idea. Anyways, it only takes about 3 tablespoons or less to top each cheesecake. I recommend using a small spoon to sprinkle the sugar evenly on the surface of each cheesecake.
Next up is torching the sugar with a handy dandy kitchen torch. I really don’t think there’s an alternative way to torch the sugar on these cheesecakes without a kitchen torch. Don’t worry, you don’t need a super expensive high quality Creme Brûlée torch for these mini cheesecakes, a simple cheap and small kitchen torch should work just fine.
Now here’s the small problem I had with torching the sugar. Every mini cheesecake I make slightly sinks in the middle when chilling. This is normally fine, but for these cheesecakes, this means that the sugar won’t be in an even layer and some of it will pile up in the middle.
When torching, the sugar slides into the middle and burns, and burnt sugar is not a very pleasant taste. Luckily this only happened with 2 of my cheesecakes and the rest had nice, flat tops which gave me a perfectly golden brown caramelized sugar topping.
To decorate the cheesecakes some more (and to cover up any imperfections), I piped a small amount of whipped cream on top and garnished with raspberries and mint leaves. The raspberry and mint pairs perfectly with the crunchy sugar and creamy cheesecake!
Very Important Tip: Do NOT top these cheesecakes until the day you plan to serve. After a day, the sugar will dissolve and become a watery mess, along with the whipped cream. I highly recommend you wait until the day you plan to serve these to top with the sugar and garnishes. Even if you aren’t serving them to others and just plan to eat them on your own (same, girl, same) I recommend you top them just before eating. Trust me, they’ll be much more enjoyable if you do.
I was amazed at how, well, AMAZING these mini cheesecakes were. The textures were just incredible! The hard, crunchy, flavourful caramelized shell sitting on top of a creamy, smooth and silky “custard-like” cheesecake and the buttery sweet graham cracker crust.
Each bite is a burst of flavour! My favourite thing about these cheesecakes, aside from the taste, is that I can that the back of a spoon and smash the hardened topping. It‘s the funnest thing to do when enjoying a Creme Brûlée.
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