Crème Bbruleé Eggnog Mini Cheesecakes

4 Cheesecakes
1 hr 45 min

Sometimes, you end up craving eggnog and gingersnaps and cheesecake at the same time, you have an idea for an eggnog cheesecake recipe, AND you’ve been dying to play with your brûlée torch, AND you’ve just received mini springform pans as a gift!


Well…..maybe that doesn’t happen to that many people. But it happened to me! And I’m very not upset about it; the end result was INCREDIBLE.


So if you like eggnog and cheesecake and have ever wanted to play with a brulee torch, I highly recommend this recipe! The brulee’d crust on the cheesecake goes so well with the eggnog and cream cheese, and it’s a perfect individual-sized Christmastime dessert!

Crème Bbruleé Eggnog Mini Cheesecakes

Recipe details

  • 4  Cheesecakes
  • Prep time: 45 Minutes Cook time: 60 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 45 min
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Ingredients

Crust

  • 20 gingersnap cookies, crushed or blended (about 1 c)
  • 1 T sugar
  • ¼ t salt
  • 4 T butter, melted

Mini Cheesecakes

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (2 8-oz sticks)
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¾ t nutmeg
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • ¼ c heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ c eggnog
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten until pale (save the whites for something else – I tried a meringue buttercream recipe!)
  • Save for later - 1/2 cup superfine / Baker's sugar to sprinkle on the cheesecake tops and torch!

Instructions

Crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Use a rolling pin or food processor to pulse the gingersnaps into fine crumbs. Add 1 T sugar, 1/4 t salt, and 4 tablespoons melted butter and stir to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottoms of 4 mini springform pans. Use a spatula or the base of a glass to press into the pans.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool; wrap each of the pans in a piece of foil when cool enough to handle – I recommend heavy-duty or grill foil so it’s less likely to tear. Set aside.
While you’re waiting for the pans to cool, get a start on your cheesecake mixture!

Mini Cheesecakes

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese for 3 minutes, making sure to scrape the sides. Add ¾ c sugar, vanilla bean paste, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and beat for another 3 minutes, scraping sides.
Gently stir in first the whipping cream and then the eggnog, and then mix in the beaten egg yolks. Stir until combined, but don’t beat for a long period of time – overbeating can incorporate air bubbles that can make bumps in the tops of your cheesecakes as they bake. The batter will be pretty thin.
Transfer the foil-wrapped cheesecake pans into a large high-sided skillet, or a roasting pan.
Pour the batter evenly into the the gingersnap crust, forming an even layer on top.
Fill the skillet or roasting pan with HOT water from the tap. You want the water to go at least halfway up the springform pans. Carefully set in the oven.
Bake at 325 for about 1 hour. You will know they’re done when mostly set in the center and don’t jiggle too much when you shake it. (some movement is ok—the cheesecake layers will continue to set as they cool. It just shouldn't be liquidy.) If the cheesecake starts to brown, turn off the oven.
When the cheesecakes are mostly set, turn off the oven and crack the door – leave the cheesecakes in the oven to cool and set for at least 30 minutes. They often crack if they cool too fast.
When the cheesecakes are mostly cool, remove from the water bath, and remove the foil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours – or preferably overnight.
When you are ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and loosen the sides of the pan. You may or may not need a knife; just release the spring very slowly.

Bruleé topping

Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar all over the tops of the cheesecakes. (Of note, the caramelized sugar won’t stay hard in the fridge, so bruleé them just before serving.)
Use the torch to caramelize the sugar - this took me a bit to get the hang of; make sure you keep the torch moving at all times. The sugar is caramelized when it just starts to bubble and smoke.
Let sit for a minute for the sugar to harden.

Tips

  • *You can sub in Nilla Wafers or graham crackers if gingersnaps aren’t your thing. ;)
  • **An option if you don’t have access to superfine/Baker's sugar is to put some regular sugar into a blender or food processor for 30 seconds or so. Smaller granules help the sugar melt faster when you are torching it. Regular sugar will still work okay though, it’s just a bit tougher not to burn it.

Intensive Cake Unit
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