Individual Creme Brulee Cheesecakes

A few weeks ago I hosted a dinner party for a few people who had never been to my place for dinner. I usually try to make something a more impressive for new people because I want them to really enjoythe dinner I make. So for this dinner party I chose to make a more involved dessert. I made indvidual creme brulee cheesecakes with a homemade phyllo wafer "crust". I really enjoyed making them and definitely learned a few lessons. The finished result was far from perfect, but they tasted delicious and I know that next time I make them, they will be even better because of the things I learned!

So, lets get started! For my graduation from university, my mom kindly bought me some new dishes for my existing set. One of the things she bought for me were ramekins - this was the first time I used them (as you can see since they're still in the box). Dishes are by Sophie Conran - plain white and nice and simple. Love love love them!

First step was prepping the dishes - had to butter the dishes and cut parchment paper to fit in the bottom of each dish (this recipe makes 6 individual cheesecakes). I have to admit - I really didn't have enough patience to cut all of the circles out - I recruited hubby to cut the circles out for me! I just put them in the bottom of all of my dishes!

The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks by Anna Olson - Fresh.
  • 1 - 1lb (500g) tub good quality mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease six 5-oz ramekins and place a disk of parchment in the bottom of each. Place ramekins in baking dish with 2 inch lip.
  2. Stir mascarpone gently to soften it. Add the sugar and combine well. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla bean paste or seeds using a whisk to smooth the mixture. Whisk in eggs one at a time until blended. Ladle the mixture into prepared ramekins and pour hot tap water in the baking dish to halfway up the ramekins.
  3. Bake cheesecakes for 35 minutes (tops of theesecakes will be brown to golden), then remove them from the water bath to cool. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving.

To make the phyllo wafers:

  • 3 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment.
  2. Lay out one sheet of phyllo. Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cover with second sheet of phyllo and brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar again. Repeat with third sheet, then fold phyllo layers in half.
  3. Cut 6 circles out of the party with 3 1/2 inch cookie cutter and place on prepared baking tray.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.
  5. To serve place a phyllo wafer on a dessert plate. Run a spatula around the inside of each ramekin to loosen the cheesecake then turn it out onto each wafer. Peel away parchment disk and sprinkle sugar over top of cheesecake. Using a kitchen butane torch, carmelize the top of the cheesecake. Repeat with remaining cheesecakes.
The photo above is my finished individual creme brulee cheesecake. As you can see, I did not carmelize the cheesecake properly. I didn't get the "carmelized crunch" that is the sign of a properly carmelized creme brulee. I did some reading to find out why and learned that the carmelizing is supposed to be done in layers. Next time I make this recipe, I will sprinkle with sugar, carmelize with the torch and then sprinkle and carmelize again. I will repeat probably 2-4 times to get the crunchy topping like a good quality creme brulee!
Hope you enjoyed this post and it inspires you to try some new recipes at home! Let me know what you think and if you have ever made something similar.

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