Mini Savory Herb Cheesecakes with red caramelized red onions
This is an unusual but delicious take on the traditional sweet cheesecake and will certainly get dinner party guests talking
Yield (makes) 24 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes (prep time)
Cooking time: 40 minutes (plus 3 hours chilling)
for the onion marmalade
2 red onions
½ cup (120 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 cup (200 g) soft brown sugar
Seasoning to taste
For the crust
2 ¼ cups (200 g) Scottish oatcakes, finely crushed
1 stick (113 g) salted butter, melted
For the filling
1 cup (250 g) full fat soft cheese
1 cup (250 g) ricotta
3 large eggs, beaten
¾ cup (100 g) mature cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon of chopped chives
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
1. For the caramelized red onions, begin by slicing the onions into thin strips
2. place into a heavy bottomed pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and gently cook for 10 minutes without coloring
3. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and allow the mixture to reduce on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes until it reaches a sticky jam consistency. Set to one side to cool.
4. For the cheesecake, line an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake tin with grease proof paper and preheat the oven to 170°C/325F
5. Mix together the oatcakes and butter, then press into the cake tin, smoothing the surface with a spoon. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
6. Whisk together the soft cheese, ricotta and eggs until smooth, then add two thirds of the diced mature cheddar, chives, thyme and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the mixture into the tin, and scatter over the remaining mature cheddar cheese
7. Place the tin onto a baking sheet and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is slightly springy to the touch around the edges, and the center is wobbly but not liquid.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before chilling, preferably overnight to allow the flavors to develop (leave the cheesecake in the tin)
9. To serve, run a sharp knife around the inside of the cake tin, before removing the cheesecake from the tin.
10. Cut into 24 equal sized squares and top each one with 1 teaspoon of the caramelized red onions.
You can also buy ready made onion marmalade, if you want to save time
Try adding some chopped walnuts and crumbled blue cheese at stage 6 for a more intense flavor
Old World: Asti (Italian Sparkling wine) Moscato Medium sweet wine.
New World: Demi sec Sparkling wine made of Shiraz from Australia. Still Wine made of Viognier grape. Rose medium sweet Zinfandel Grape. (USA)