There was occasion to do a little baking this past Sunday – it was someone special’s birthday! Birthdays mean cakes but with only two of us in our little flat, whole cakes can be somewhat problematic. Large batches of anything and there’s also the risk that we’ll get tired of the cookie/cake/brownie/slice, not to mention that our girth will increase too. I’m always halving or quartering new recipes.

These cheesecakes are based on a recipe I saw on Giada De Laurentiis’ show Everyday Italian. She used a base of chocolate biscuit crumbs and topped them with sugar but I’ve made them a little simpler and omitted the topping. Blai thought they were still a bit too sweet and not heavy enough, I think due to the use of ricotta. I like them just the way they are. And they make a small batch and only require a single mini muffin 12-hole tin.

Little Orange Cheesecakes

Little Orange Cheesecakes
based on a recipe from Everyday Italian.
Makes 12.

1/3 cup Digestive biscuit crumbs (approximately 2.5 Digestive biscuits – or use graham cracker crumbs)
2 tbsps butter, melted
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 ozs (57g) cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 an orange
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius.

Mix the melted butter with the biscuit crumbs thoroughly and divide amongst the holes of a 12-hole mini muffin tin. Pat down firmly with a finger.

Beat together the remaining ingredients – I use a hand mixer; Giada used a food processor on the telly, I think. Pour the mixture onto the crumb bases.

Place the mini muffin tin into a larger pan (I used a roasting pan) and pour hot water into the larger pan so it comes up the sides of the muffin holes. Don’t get the water into the holes themselves. Bake the tin and pan together for 25 minutes, then remove the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Place the tin into the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving. Use a small knife to cut around each cheesecake and pop them out.