Mini Lavender Cheesecakes with Blackberry Coulis

This recipe is one I plan to continue to use until I get tired of it (not sure that will happen). After a few tries, I have been able to successfully make these delicious mini lavender cheesecakes with the right amount of lavender and fluffiness!

I used Girl Scout cookies – Thin Mints – instead of graham crackers as the crust on my latest attempt – SUCH A GREAT IDEA! You have to try it!

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 1/2 box (7 oz.) graham cracker crumbs (Or a half box of favorite cookies
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cube (4 oz) butter, melted and cooled

FOR THE LAVENDER CHEESECAKE:

  • 2 tablespoons lavender buds, finely chopped or crushed
  • 4 (8 oz) packages. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature

FOR BLACKBERRY TOPPING

  • 6 oz (180g) blackberries, pureed and strained
  • 5 tbsp (65g) sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp cornstarch

*Substitute sour cream with even parts heavy whipping cream, greek yogurt and mayo (make sure you only use 1/2 cup of mixture for use in the recipe)

Instructions:

FOR THE CRUST:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Spray 9-inch springform pan or Silicone baking tray with non-stick spray (or butter)
  3. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar (If you use cookies don’t add more sugar) then add in the melted butter and toss with a fork until evenly moistened (should look like damp sand)
  4. Divide evenly into the prepared pan, press down firmly with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or the flat bottom of a cup
  5. Transfer pan into the oven and bake the crust for 10 minutes
  6. Remove and set on a cooling rack while preparing the blackberry topping

FOR THE BLACKBERRY TOPPING:

  1. Add the blackberries to a food processor and puree until smooth (a little more than 1/2 cup of puree)
  2. Mix together the blackberry puree, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan
  3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently until mixture thickens and comes to a boil (about 5 minutes)
  4. Allow to boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute, then remove from heat
  5. Pour into a glass container and refrigerate and allow to cool completely

FOR THE LAVENDER CHEESECAKE:

  1. Set the crust pan to sit inside a larger, deep-sided pan such as a roasting pan. Fill the lower, larger pan with hot water that comes up to 2/3 of the top pan
  2. MAKE SURE TO ARRANGE THE OVEN RACK TO THE LOWER-MIDDLE POSITION OF THE OVEN AND REDUCE THE OVEN HEAT TO 325°F
  3. Place the dried lavender buds and reserve into a spice grinder and bring to a powder then set aside
  4. In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar to a mixing bowl (a stand mixer if possible) then beat on medium-low speed for 1 minute until smooth 
  5. Add the cornstarch, salt, sour cream* and vanilla. Beat on medium-low speed for another minute until creamy
  6. Stop the motor and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula
  7. Keeping the mixer speed on medium-low, beat for another minute while adding the eggs and yolks, one at a time, mixing well between each one, not to over mix
  8. Fold in the lavender bud powder with a spatula (add less for not so potent lavender taste)
  9. Pour the mixture on top of the crust pan and place into oven
  10. Bake the cheesecake for 50-55 minutes, then turn off the oven immediately and crack the door open or prop it open letting the cheesecake cool slowly for 1 hour 
  11. Then carefully take out both pans from the oven and lift the cheesecake from the water bath
  12. Let the cheesecake cool for another 30 minutes then top with blackberry topping and serve

Tips/Notes:

  • Cream cheese can be quickly brought to room temperature in the microwave. Set the microwave on ‘defrost’ setting for 10 to 15 seconds
  • Eggs, can also be placed in a dish of warm water for 5 minutes
  • Blend the ingredients on slow speed as a high speed will add air into the batter which will cause the cheesecake to puff up during baking and crack during cooling
  • The refrigerated cold cheesecake will slice easily by dipping a sharp knife in hot water and wiping it off before each slice is made

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