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Brûléed Mini Cheesecakes

Brûléed Mini Cheesecakes
Traditionally used to caramelize sugar on crème brûlée, a culinary torch is also handy for creating a crispy caramelized topping on individual cheesecakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tsp. crème brûlée sugar* or superfine sugar

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly butter the wells of a mini cheesecake pan.

In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar and stir until blended. Divide the mixture among the prepared wells. Using the bottom of a shot glass or other small glass, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the wells. Bake the crusts for 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the cream cheese and the 1/3 cup granulated sugar and beat on low speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the cream and beat until blended. Pour the filling into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the wells.

Bake until the filling is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to the wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

Just before serving, sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. of the crème brûlée sugar evenly over each cheesecake. Using a culinary torch, melt the sugar according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remove the cheesecakes from the pan and serve immediately. Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

* Available at Williams-Sonoma stores.