A few days ago we celebrated my friend Kim's 30th birthday. She came over for dinner and drinks after work. Kim is a great friend of ours and I really wanted to cook a nice meal for her to show her how much we appreciate her friendship. I made a delicious warm brussels sprout salad with broiled flounder and scalloped potatoes. For dessert we had these decadent and smooth mini guava cheesecakes. I love sharing the flavors of my culture with my non-Caribbean friends, especially those who are excited to try something new. It gives them a chance to get to know me in a different way. We couldn't stop licking out fingers with this one. The cheesecake was so good. I wanted to share this recipe because I thought it would also be perfect for Valentine's Day.
Back in the day when I didn't have kids, I would have dinner ready and the kitchen spic and span prior to anyone coming over. In fact, I would panic if my guests were arriving and I was not done cooking or cleaning up the dishes. Unless you have a cleaning person, or help at home, it's quite difficult to do it all when you're home with a 10 month old and almost 3 year old. I'm certainly not using my kids as an excuse here, I'm just saying that I've learned in my short time as a mom that the people who love and care about you won't judge you if your house is a mess with toys everywhere and things not put away. If people do mind that sort of thing then maybe they shouldn't be coming over-the last thing we need as parents in this day and age is more judgment. Accepting this reality was quite an adjustment as I like my home to be neat, but nowadays I have stopped stressing about everything being so perfect around the house and focusing more on enjoying the time I can with my friends and family. Kim was so patient as my husband and I put our kids to bed while dinner was still cooking and dishes over flowing in the sink. The night turned out great, especially ending with this cheesecake and a bottle of rosé.
I have a rule about cheesecake. It has to have a certain texture for me to enjoy it. It has to be smooth with no eggy taste and not overly sweet. I have a base recipe that I've been using since the beginning of time in which I customize with different additions. This is the same base recipe I use in my Pineapple + Coconut Cheesecake. I used guava paste for the flavor and melted it slightly in the microwave. I then added some of the cheesecake batter to the guava paste and blended until it was completely smooth. I divided the batter into three 4-inch springform pans. I had a little batter left over and used it to make a few cheesecake cups. You can certainly pour the entire batter into a prepared store bought crust- just be sure to buy the crust that says "2 extra servings" otherwise you'll have left over batter. If you can't find that particular crust, get a regular size and use the left over batter to make cheesecake cups. These are perfect for Valentine's day or any time. It's not overly sweet and the guava gives it such a nice flavor. Give it a go and let me know how you liked it.
UPDATE ON NEW SITE
In the next month or so I will be dedicating whatever free time I have to getting my new site up and running. For those that missed it- I am in the process of rebranding and redesigning my blog. I currently blog from Blogger and will be moving over to Wordpress. I am doing this on my own so there is a long timeline involved as I can only work on the site very late at night when my kids go to bed. In order to not create more work for myself, I will not be posting at this web address for another few weeks. You can expect a new post once my new site is up. I will still be answering emails and comments on social media. In the meantime, you can keep up with what I'm cooking by following me on Instagram. Thank you for your patience during this time, I know you will love the new site, just a little while longer and I'll be back!
Yield: Three, 4inch mini springform pans or One 9oz ready made crust
Crust- if making your own
- Bring eggs and cream cheese to room temperature.
- Mix graham cracker, sugar, and cinnamon together. Add melted butter, stir to combine.
- Press graham cracker mixture into mini springform pans or one 8in springform pan. Use a round glass to press graham cracker into and around the side of the pan.
- Bake crust for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees until edges are golden brown, crust will begin to smell fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Cream sugar and cream cheese until smooth and no lumps remain. Add sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, blend to incorporate. Add eggs, blend on low speed.
- Slightly melt 8 tbsp of guava paste in microwave. In a separate bowl remove about 1/4 cup of batter and blend together with guava paste. Blend until completely smooth. Add guava mixture to remaining cheesecake batter and blend then mix in 1 tbsp flour.
- Set oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Line springform pan with foil. Pour batter into crust. Place springform pan in a deep baking pan and place on baking rack in oven. Fill larger pan halfway with water.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees
- Center of cheesecake should jiggle slightly when shaken. Turn heat off and leave cheesecake to rest for about 10 minutes in oven. Remove from oven and leave cheesecake to rest for an additional 30-40 minutes to cool slowly. Place in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
- If making cheesecake cups, baking time should be about 25-30 minutes.
- One drop of red food coloring will help to bring out the color of the cheesecake batter.