Inevitably taurean, I have once again reunited the worlds of dessert and flowers – the dreamiest of dimensions, an escapist’s paradise. Certainly a more pleasant alternative to life as I know it these days, which seem to be an endless loop of dread and disappointment (when will it end? Do we just live in strange times or is society truly this disenchanting?) Perhaps time will tell all but I doubt I’ll be interested in finding out. Thoughts and revelations abound…
Mini Passionfruit Cheesecakes
These are a fruity variation of the mini apple rose cheesecakes I made a couple months back, with the roses trimmed down a little to be level with the height of the transparent jelly layer. I also embedded mint leaves in the jelly for a more rose-like look.
makes 8 mini cheesecakes
For the biscuit base:
100 grams graham biscuits, crushed finely in a food processor (pulverize them, literally)
50 grams unsalted butter, melted
1 to 2 tablespoons cream
For the passionfruit cheesecake batter:
2 gelatin leaves
50 ml passionfruit puree
135 grams cream cheese, softened
50 grams icing sugar
135 ml heavy cream
For the apple rose:
1 large red apple
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 gelatin leaves
100 ml water
25 grams sugar
Make the crust: Mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter together. Add between 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream if the mixture is looking a little dry. Form eight circles that are 6 cm in diameter and 4.5 cm in height using transparent acetate strips and place them on a silicon baking sheet. Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of each circle. Refrigerate while you make the batter.
Make the passionfruit cheesecake batter: Soften the gelatin leaves in cold water. Heat the passionfruit puree to a boil in a saucepan or microwave and stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm.
Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the passionfruit mixture.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the passionfruit mixture. Divide batter evenly amongst the crusts and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.
Make the apple roses: Halve an apple on either side of the core and slice again to achieve four quarters. Slice thinly with mandolin into a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice to stop the apple slices from browning. Repeat with the remaining apples. Retrieve the apple slices from the bowl of lemon water and arrange them on a large plate such that they don’t overlap too much. Microwave for about 3 minutes or until the apples have softened and are now pliable.
Take about 14 apple slices and arrange them in a straight line, with their ends overlapping. Roll up the apple slices tightly to form a rose. Place a rose on the center of each cheesecake. I made an IGTV video tutorial on how to make these roses and posted it to my Instagram – it may be helpful for you to refer to it if you prefer a visual guide.
Make the jelly topping: Soften the gelatin leaves in water. Stir together the water and sugar in a bowl and microwave until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved. Squeeze out the excess water from the softened gelatin leaves and stir them into the water-sugar mixture until dissolved. Set aside the mixture to cool for a bit before pouring it on top of the cheesecakes halfway to the top.
Place one or two mint leaves on top of the jelly layer and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Pour in the remaining gelatin mixture and add more mint leaves on top. This helps the mint leaves stay embedded within the jelly, but it isn’t a necessary step if you prefer to have all your mint leaves right at the surface peeking through the jelly. Refrigerate the cakes overnight to allow the jelly topping to set completely.