I just baked these mini pink raspberry cheesecakes for a breast cancer awareness event I was gladly asked to take part in this week.
As you might have noticed, this is actually the second time I share a pink recipe for breast cancer awareness this month, after my vegan pink beet pancakes (another naturally pink-colored recipe – no food colorant). October is officially a pink month for Del’s cooking twist!
This time was a little bit different though, as I took part in a real event organized in Chicago aiming at raising awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. Two specialist in breast surgery were here to inform us about breast cancer in a nice and soft way, trying to explain more than alarm us about the facts and consequences.
Women were of course in the center of this event, and were offered the opportunity to help an important cause while also giving the chance to treat themselves a little bit with wellness activities such as massage and manicures. There was also an auction with the chance to bid on an amazing artwork to help raise money for the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Fund. In the middle of all that, there was me, Del’s cooking twist, honored and happy to offer my mini raspberry cheesecakes for such a great cause.
I tried to create a new pink recipe, which would be naturally pink (I refuse to use any food colorants, especially for such a cause where health is concerned), and of course my challenge was to make it as pretty as possible. You all know my theory already: pretty food always tastes better!
The attendees all loved my mini cheesecakes that they found adorable (I do too!), pretty and not too sweet. There is indeed very little sugar in this recipe, just enough to enhance the fresh raspberries without taking over their natural taste. This way, the mini cheesecakes are delicate, with a light and fluffy texture, that contrasts beautifully with the crispy chocolate base.
These mini cheesecakes will make a sweet treat for a cocktail party, a baby shower, or simply a girls night in. To make this dessert even more festive, serve it with a raspberry coulis, a touch of whipped cream, and enjoy with a glass of sparkling wine!
- 1 cup (3,5 oz / 100g) Digestive biscuits (or graham crackers)
- ⅓ cup (4 oz / 100g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1 cup (8 oz / 225g) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (4,5 oz / 60g) powdered sugar
- ½ cup (28 oz / 120g) heavy whipping cream
- 2½ tsp agar agar powder (or gelatin) dissolved in ¼ cup water
- 1½ cup (6,5 oz / 200g)fresh raspberries + extra to decorate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a muffin pan with muffin paper cups. Grease them with melted butter or cooking spray.
- For the crust: pulse the biscuits (graham crackers or Digestive) in a food processor until finely crumbled. Combine with cocoa powder, and melted butter, and stir until heavenly moistened.
- Divide the texture between the 10 paper cups, about 1½ tablespoons each. Set in the fridge to firm while making the filling.
- For the filling: place raspberries in a food processor and pulse until completely crushed. Strain it through a strainer to get rid of the seeds. Set aside.
- Pour dissolved agar agar (or gelatin) in a saucepan, bring to boil until dissolved, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let cool for a couple of minutes.
- In a medium size bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add melted cooled agar agar (or gelatin) and mix to combine. Pour the cream cheese mixture, raspberry puree, and stir well.
- Take out the crust from the fridge, and fill the cups with the cheesecake filling. Place a raspberry on top of each one.
- Set in the fridge for about 2-3 hours to firm, or at least 45 minutes in the freezer. Serve with fresh raspberries and/or a raspberry coulis.