I first met and greatly admired chef
Plan Ahead Make the cheesecakes at least 4 hours ahead.
|fine sea salt||.||.|
|cream cheese (65° to 70°F/19° to 21°C), cut into pieces|
|Stilton or other strong flavored blue cheese|
Two 6 cup silicone muffin pans, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, set on a wire rack and then on a baking sheet, or one 12 cup muffin pan, bottoms coated with shortening, topped with parchment rounds, then lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray | Optional: a disposable pastry bag
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and
Spread the walnuts evenly on a baking sheet and
Lower the oven temperature to 225°F/107°C.
In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they are finely chopped but not powder fine. Spoon
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and beat on low speed until the mixture begins to come together. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, or until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, using a fork, mash together the sour cream and Stilton cheese until well combined. Scrape this mixture into the mixer bowl and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or just until incorporated.
Add the eggs and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or just until incorporated. The batter should be thick like sour cream.
The easiest way to fill the cups is to scrape the batter into a disposable pastry bag, or quart-size reclosable freezer bag with a ½ inch semicircle cut from one corner, and pipe the batter into the cups, filling them almost to the top (
Set the baking sheet on a wire rack. Lift the hot rack with the muffin pans onto another wire rack or heatproof surface to cool for 30 minutes, or just until warm. Cover the surface of the cheesecakes with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before unmolding.
If using metal muffin pans, run a small spatula that has been heated under hot water and wiped off between the sides of the muffin cups and the cakes. (This is not necessary if using silicone pans.)
Place a baking sheet on top of the plastic wrap–covered muffin pan and invert it. Wet a dish towel with very hot water. Wring out the excess and set it over the muffin pan, draping it into the depressions. Let it to sit for about 2 minutes. Remove the towel and lift off the muffin pan. If the cheesecakes do not release readily, reapply the hot towel and let it sit for another minute. Place a second sheet pan on top of the cheesecakes and reinvert them.
If the cakes were baked in the metal muffin pan, use a small spatula that has been heated in boiling water and wiped off to smooth the sides of the cakes.
Use a pancake turner to lift each cheesecake onto a serving plate.
Refrigerated, 5 days.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.