Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sin is In Part II: Bacon Maple Cheese Cakes



Sometimes I see a recipe in a magazine and think 'What a fabulous idea! I should make that!'.  Other times I see a recipe in a magazine and think 'That's okay, I bet I can make it better!'

That's exactly what I did with a recipe from this month's edition of Food Network Magazine. They had these great looking mini bacon cheesecakes on page 124 of the May edition.  Now don't get me wrong, they look fabulous with their little pieces of bacon on top but I started thinking...

'A chocolate cookie based crust would just take over the bacon flavour'....then it was..
'Why use vanilla when you can use maple? Everyone knows maple and bacon were just meant to be together!'
'How can I get more bacon into the the crust?'
'Can it really be called a bacon cheese cake if the only bacon is actually just the garnish?'

Seriously folks, I almost hurt myself on this one!  After making some adjustments to the original recipe, I came up with a fantastic little treat with a great bacony bite and a maple taste.  This may seem like a lot of work for 24 mini cheese cakes, but come on now, it's bacon!

Maple Bacon Mini Cheese cakes
Yield: 24 minis

Bacon

Place 10 strips of your best bacon onto a baking sheet and slip it into the oven. Turn the oven on to 350F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You want the bacon to be crisp, but not too dark as some will cook more in the crust and some will cook more with the maple glaze....mmmmm
Drain the bacon on some paper towel. Save 4 for the crust and 6 for the maple application.

Maple glazed bacon

6 strips cooked bacon
¼ cup maple syrup (NOT fake pancake syrup...the real deal people!!)

Cut each strip of bacon into 4 or more pieces. As long as you have at least 24 you will be good.

Heat the maple syrup in a pan and add the bacon strips.  Let the syrup get all bubbly and thick (boil it down, reduce....whatever word you want to use).

Once the syrup is all thick and the bacon pieces are each well coated in a nice coat, remove the pieces to a sheet of parchment paper to cool. Save 24 pieces so you will have one piece per mini cheese cake.

You will know you've boiled it enough because you will get sugary/maple strings like this:

sweet, stringy, maple goodness!


Line a mini muffin pan with liners

The crust

½ cup panko
4 strips bacon, baked until crisp
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp melted bacon fat (or butter)

Whir everything in the food processor or blender until mixed and the bacon is broken down into small pieces.

Scoop 1 tsp of the crust mixture into each liner and pack it down tightly with your finger tips.


Cheesecake

1 8oz pkg cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp maple extract
2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1 egg

Heat the oven to 325F

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before starting. It will be easier to blend and make a smoother cheese cake.

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. (I like to use the mixer for this but a wooden spoon works the arm muscles).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the maple extract and syrup.  Keep mixing until smooth and blended.


Add the egg and blend just until fully incorporated.

Scoop 2 tsp of filling onto the crusts.


Bake for 15 minutes (at 325F), until the cheese cakes are set in the middle.

Cool in the pan, then transfer to an airtight container, top with a piece of maple glazed bacon and store in the fridge!

Chill for at least 4 hours....or as long as you can wait....

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

9 comments:

  1. Those were probably the most delicious cheesecake tarts I have ever tasted...Bacon and cheesecake...can life get much better than that?!?!

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    1. Awww, shucks. Aren't you glad you are on my good side?

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  2. These little gems do have the breakfast flavor combo we all love. With that sweet maple syrup and salty bacon, these must taste amazing. Bacon does have a way of making everything better-yum!

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  3. This is just mean....cheesecake and bacon mmmmmmm....I'm following you now!

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  4. Oh these are truly sinful. I can feel an artery clog just reading the list of ingredients. LOL.

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  5. Bacon in sweets is my favorite. The perfect balance of salty and sweet. These little bites sound incredible!

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  6. These sound outrageously delicious. The idea and execution are both wonderful. I'm new here, but based on a quick browse of your earlier recipes I know that I'll be back. I really like the food you share with your readers and I enjoyed my time here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  7. Totally drooling right now. Amazing little bites of deliciousness!

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