recipe

Mini Disaronno White Chocolate Cheesecake

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

A few weeks ago I picked up the limited edition Disaronno Wears Cavalli set at the LCBO. The set comes with a 750 ml bottle of amaretto and two glass tumblers. The beautiful butterfly wing motif is a collaboration with Italian fashion designer, Roberto Cavalli. And Disaronno donates some of the proceeds to the United Nations-sponsored Fashion 4 Development charity.

I wanted to find a way to enjoy my Disaronno other than the classic amaretto sour. I came across a few amaretto cheesecake recipes on Pinterest and combined elements of these to create my own mini cheesecakes. These mini cheesecakes are great for sweet tables at a Christmas or New Year's Eve party. Besides the Disaronno, this recipe uses ingredients that are easy to find at your local grocery store. The mini cheesecakes take about an hour to prepare and 4 hours to set in the fridge. Originally I wanted to use a mini cheesecake baking pan (the ones with a removable bottom). But I used a regular muffin pan instead and it turned out well. This recipe makes 12 "regular" muffin/cupcake-sized cheesecakes.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

Below is a list of the ingredients that you will need.

For the crust:

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup of grounded almonds

1/4 cup of white sugar

1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon of Disaronno

 

For the cake:

340 g plain cream cheese

1/2 cup of sour cream

1/4 sugar

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of almond extract

3 teaspoons of Disaronno

2 oz baker's white chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup of grounded almonds

 

For the topping:

1/2 cup of sour cream

1/4 cup of white sugar

1 teaspoon of almond extract

Sliced almonds for garnishing

 

 Here are the steps:

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F.

1. Make the crust by mixing the graham cracker crumbs, grounded almonds, sugar, melted butter and a tablespoon of Disaronno in a large bowl. The texture should look like this. 

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

2. Place cupcake liners in the muffin pan and fill each with a tablespoonful of the crust mix. Using a pestle or the back of the spoon, press the mixture firmly against the pan. Place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes and then remove it from the heat. Let it cool while you prepare the cake batter.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

3. Using a stand or a hand mixer, mix the sour cream and cream cheese together at a low speed. Slowly add in the sugar.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

4. Add the eggs, one at a time. Wait until the first egg is completely blended before adding the second egg.

5. Next add the ground almonds, almond extract, vanilla extract, pinch of salt,  teaspoons of Disaronno to the mix.

6. Add the finely chopped white chocolate.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

7. Once everything is blended together, fill the cupcake liners with the cake batter (about two tablespoons per cupcake liner).

8. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until the cheesecake is almost set. Remove the pan from the oven to cool for 5 minutes.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

9. For the topping mix the sour cream, sugar and almond extract in a small bowl.

10. Add a spoonful of the topping mixture to each mini cake form and the topping spread evenly across each mini cake. Place the pan back in the oven to bake for another 5 minutes.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

11. Remove from the cakes from the oven and let the cakes cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle on the almond slices on top.

12. Place the pan on a cooling rack or marble slab to cool further. Once cool, place the cakes in the fridge to set for 4-5 hours or overnight.

13. To serve, gently peel the cupcake liners away and arrange the mini cheesecakes on a plate.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (I've already eaten half the batch all by myself). Let me know if you try it by posting a picture of your creation on Twitter or Instagram. You can tag or mention me @hopeherfuture on both.

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

In the Morning: The Breakfast Sandwich

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

If you read my post last week on boosting productivity with a morning routine, you know one of my resolutions is to have a heartier breakfast each day. I’m on the move pretty early in the mornings, so breakfast for me is usually whatever I can grab and go. My ideal breakfast, is something protein-rich to help keep me full until my first break. So, I took to Pinterest to search for quick but nourishing breakfast ideas. The first recipe I wanted to try was one for a breakfast sandwich. I modified the recipe a bit to eliminate the pork and diary ingredients. It took only 30 minutes to make a batch that will last in the freezer for the rest of the week. And because it’s so simple, you can easily make these while cooking Sunday dinner.

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

The ingredients you’ll need for this version are:

  • Plain English Muffins (Or Whole Wheat etc.)

  • Omega-3 Enriched Eggs (1 egg for each sandwich)

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Daiya Cheddar Style Vegan Cheese Slices (Found at Whole Foods)

  • Wellshire Classic Turkey Breakfast strips (subbed for bacon. Found at Whole Foods)

  • Optional Garnish: Thinly Sliced Red Onions, Garlic and Tomato (can also add Spinach if you’d like)

In terms of special tools, you’ll need medium-sized ramekins (the ideally same size as your English muffins) and a baking sheet in order to easily transfer the ramekins in and out of the oven.

First, grease each ramekin with a small amount of oil or butter. This will help keep the egg from sticking to the ramekin in the end. Then crack 1 egg into each ramekin and remove the chalaze with a fork (the chalaze is the white substance attached to the yolk). Doing so will help break the yolk and help the eggs bake thoroughly. Season the eggs with salt and pepper (you can also mix in other ingredients like the diced garlic, red onions or spinach for omelette-style eggs). Place the eggs in to oven and bake at 350°F (that is 175°C) for about 20 minutes. To check if the eggs have cooked all the way through, I used a knife to cut slits into the middle of each ramekin to see if there was a still any liquid/uncooked egg remaining.

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

While the eggs are baking, you can prepare the other ingredients. I like my English muffins crispy, so I placed them in another baking sheet to toast for a few minutes. I also diced my vegetables and fried the turkey bacon while the eggs were in the oven. When the eggs are completely cooked, remove the eggs from the oven and let the ramekins cool. Once the ramekins are cool enough, run a fork along the edge and under the eggs to remove the eggs from the ramekins.

(C)  2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C)  2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

With everything now set, you can simply assemble the sandwiches. I wrapped each sandwich in parchment paper before placing the sandwiches in a large freezer bag. But you can freeze them in whatever you feel works best for you.

In the morning, you can take a sandwich out of the freezer and reheat using the microwave or bake in the oven. I was able to reheat my sandwich in the microwave, 1 ½ minutes per side, for a total of 3 minutes. That time may vary for you slightly depending on your microwave settings. Once the sandwich is warmed you can add the tomato slices or what other garnish you would like. I hope you enjoy this quick recipe and find it useful! Let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram.