On one chilly rainy evening I noticed the family was feeling a little low. Everyone was off into their own little corners in the house and I missed the laugher and excitement that normally fills out little chateau. There was no little putter patter of tiny feet running up and down the halls. No children playfully teasing and chasing other, and no adults telling corny jokes. I thought to myself what can I do to bring everyone together again, what does everyone love.
After being in quarantined for almost a month it would have to be something sweet. What would it be cookies, crepes, cheese, fruit and then it hit me. Mini cheese cakes! I could make mini cram cracker crust using a small baby mason jar lid, cream cheese filling like I do from my crepes, and candied kiwi slices. I quickly got to work and after a while the family was together again. Laughter again filled our little chateau, tiny feet pittered, and everyone jokingly argued over who gets the last three cakes.
If you would like to make this magical rainy day tonic in your own home here is what you will need.
One package of gram crackers from a box of gram cracker.
White granulated sugar
250g/8oz block of cream cheese
Parchment paper, cellophane, or silicone mat anything that can be use to prevent unchilled crust from sticking to surfaces.
One small mansion jar lid (the kind that the center pops out of)
Gram Cracker Crust
1 package gram cracker
2 TBSP unsalted butter
Cheese Cake Filling
1 250g or 8oz block of cream cheese
1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
Make your crust first to insure it will be set in time for the filling.
Gram Cracker Crust:
1. Crush gram crackers in a blender until they are fine crumbles you will need one cup which is equal to one of the three bags found in the box of gram crackers.
2.Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and mix in two the gram cracker crumbles until they are moist enough to pack down and keep shape. You may need to add more butter a little at a time. Crust should be easy to form into form and stay in shape when packed.
3. Fill mason jar lid to the top with crust lightly packing in so you can flip in over without spilling it.
4. Flip lid over onto parchment paper and firmly press down on the center of the lid while hold the ring in place. Remove your hand from the top of the jar and slowly slip the ring away from the outside of the crust. To remove the lid softly slide a butter knife beaten the lid and the top of the top of the crust. Gently pull the lid up, if the crust comes up with the lid it is not packed firm enough. Make sure to press firm as this will form the crust and will need to be packed tight enough for someone to pick up the cake.
5. Once all the crust are packed and complete place them in the refrigerator until they are completely chilled and firm. Once you are able to pick them up without them falling apart they are ready.
Next make your Cheese Cake filling (be sure to do this before you make your candied kiwis because the cake it will need to chill before assembly.
Cheese Cake Filling
1. Soften cream cheese in microwave in 30 second intervals so you don’t curdled it.
2. Once cream cheese is almost completely softened mix in 1/4 cup of sugar and heat an additional 30 seconds until smooth.
3. Fill pipping bag with cheese cake mixture and place in the refrigerator to chill. You want it to chill slightly to where you can pipe it onto the crust without it running off. If you chill it to long it will be hard to pipe it onto the crust. While you wait make the Kiwis
1. In a small sauce pan add 1/4 sugar and 2/4 cup water and set to medium heat.
2. While the sugar is warming slice kiwis to desired thickness.
3. Once the sugar and water have completely devolved and you start to see bubbles add in your kiwi slices. Cook until mixture becomes slightly thick like a syrup and you can taste that it is infused with kiwi. Turn off the stove and move kiwis to a cool place and let sit until it is no longer warm to the touch.
Cut a large corner out of your cheese cake piping bag and pipe one inch thick onto the gram cracker crust. Place a kiwi slice on each cake and drizzle some of the simple syrup onto the cake. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour and enjoy.