Savory or sweet — where do your taste buds fall into line? Mine sprint to the savory side; I love the rich, salty, earthy flavors that define those dishes. But that doesn’t mean I never crave something sweet. A bite or two is all it takes to squelch that desire, and, thanks to the marvelous invention of the mini muffin pan, I can keep those treats to a bite-sized portion.
Since I’d typically pick a cheese plate over dessert, it should come as no surprise that cheesecake tops my list of indulgences. There are so many varieties of cheesecake out there, that even as I type, my mind gets distracted, but today let’s focus on a citrus-infused, naturally sweetened cake that can be made in mere minutes, which I call “lemon ricotta cheesecakelettes.”
As the name implies, lemon and ricotta flavor the filling of this creamy cake, and they are small and cute. These little morsels also feature a surprise guest: blueberries, which appear in the crust. I discovered a breakfast biscuit that, when smashed up, makes for a perfectly crisp base and nicely complements the citrusy zing and mellow ricotta. When all these flavors come together in a wondrous army of bite size treats, it makes for a sweet ending to any meal.
Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecakelettes
makes 36 mini cakelettes
14 BelVita blueberry breakfast biscuits, smashed up (about 1 1/3 cup)
3-4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup lemon yogurt
1/2 cup cream cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
fresh blueberries to garnish
To make the crust
Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit and line tins with mini muffin wrappers. Next, place the breakfast biscuits in a Ziploc bag and, using a rolling pin, smash them up until they are finely crumbled. Pour crumbs a small bowl and stir in melted coconut oil and 1 tablespoon lemon zest to coat crumbs. Press 1 teaspoon of mixture into bottom of each muffin wrapper. Bake for 7 minutes, remove from oven, and allow to cool.
To make filling
Meanwhile, using a kitchen mixer, whisk together the ricotta, yogurt, cream cheese, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon zest, and honey. Next, mix in one egg at a time and blend until combined into a smooth, thin batter.
Spoon 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling on top of each biscuit crust. Place tins back in 350º oven for 15-17 minutes, or until cakelettes are golden around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes, then place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish each cakelette with a fresh blueberry.
Note: The cakelettes can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to a week, though they never last that long!
All photos by Kate Filloramo.