Crustless Amaretto Babycakes (Small Batch)

I like things that come in an individual portion — that’s one reason I like cookies. It’s also why I prefer to bake muffins over quick bread, cupcakes over cake, and now these “babycakes” (as a friend dubbed them) over cheesecake. It also allows me to bake a smaller batch, because I don’t own mini cake pans.

They aren’t the most photogenic treats — partly due to my amateur photography — but they sure are tasty.

It took me a few tries to perfect this cheesecake recipe, but I’m thrilled with the results. These have a wonderful creamy texture. I started out with this recipe at all recipes, scaled it down, and then started messing with the ingredients a bit. I’ve found that cornstarch makes the best thickener, and heavy cream is the best dairy product to use. (Of course the richest product would be the best!) If you wish, you can sub flour for the cornstarch and some other dairy product for the heavy cream. It may not be as good, IMHO, but it’ll still turn out.

These are crustless because I made them for a friend who always leaves the crust of her cheesecake behind. I have nothing against cheesecake crust, but I have to say that I didn’t miss it to much. Plus, it’s convenient because I seldom have packaged cookies or other crust-making ingredients in the house. You can certainly use a crust in here if you wish.

Crustless Amaretto Babycakes

Oven Temp.: 325°
Approx. Bake Time: 25-30 min.
Yields: 6 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 egg
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (or almond extract)
2 tbsp. amaretto liquor

Instructions
– Beat the cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Beat in the egg, just until incorporated. Stir in the cream, amaretto, and vanilla extract.
– These bake with a water bath, so place a muffin tin inside a larger (and deep) pan. Line the tin with paper or silicone cups. Spoon in the batter, filling the cups to the top. Fill the larger pan with very hot water so that it reaches halfway up the muffin tin. (Use a kettle.)
– Bake in a preheated oven until the cheesecakes are set, but still moist. (The batter shouldn’t slosh, but it should be slightly jiggly.)
– Let the cheesecakes cool in the muffin tin for an hour. Next, remove them from the tin and let them cool on a rack until they reach room temperature. Refrigerate for 6 hours before eating.

Notes
– If you fill to the top you should get 6 tall babycakes. You can also fill the cups less to get shorter babycakes.
– You can also sub your favorite liquor for the amaretto, though I haven’t tried anything else.

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