Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pom Guava Mini Cheesecakes

Most of us already know the many health benefits of pomegranates or pomegranate juice. Outside of that, this ruby red fruit has been favored throughout history for several reasons.

The Greek believe this fruit brings good luck, fertility and wealth.  It is given as a housewarming gift and is broken on the ground at weddings and New Years.  Early Egyptians were found buried with dried pomegranates. Also, there are several references to this fruit in the bible.

This recipe has pomegranate juice in it along with coconut extract and guava jam. Indulging in these little treats may not bring you all the benefits noted above, but hopefully the tropical flavors will put you in a summer state of mind.

This recipe states that it produces 24 cupcakes, but I had quite a bit of filling left over.  To compensate for this, I have doubled the original amounts stated for the crust.  I wanted to make use of all of the filling.  My total was 36 cupcakes and I was cautious about how much I filled the liners.

Pom Guava Mini Cheesecakes
courtesy of via Foodbuzz 

   Pomegranate Reduction:
1/3 cup brown sugar
24 oz pomegranate juice
2 tbs balsamic vinegar

In a saucepan, mix together the above ingredients.  Then place on medium high heat and let come to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Let cook for about 45 minutes, stirring at 15 minute intervals. The reduction process is done when the liquid is reduced down to a little over 2 cups and is slightly thicker. Set aside to cool.

1 1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
2 tsp coconut extract
2 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cup rolled oats

Take two 12 cup muffin pans and fill cavities with paper liners (do not use foil liners).  In a small bowl, sift together flour and salt. Then stir in oats. Pull out a second small bowl and whisk together extract and butter. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix with fork. The oatmeal dough will be very crumbly.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the dough and place it into a liner.  Continue with this process until liners are filled.  Then press the dough into a flat disk on the bottom of each liner, making sure it is even. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 cup coconut or regular milk
3 eggs
2 tsp coconut extract
2 tbs and 2 tsp flour
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
3 eight oz packages of cream cheese (room temp)

With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth and evenly distributed. This should take about 2 minutes.  Set mixer aside and take out a wooden spoon.

Add the milk to the batter, mixing with spoon. Then stir in the eggs, blending in one at a time.  Mix in the final ingredients of sour cream, extract and flour to create a smooth batter.

Pour batter into each cupcake cavity, taking care that they are only 2/3 full.  Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Use the toothpick test to see if done.  Place muffin tin on a cooling rack and let cool for 5-7 minutes. Carefully remove and let finish cooling in the paper liner by sitting on a rack.  Do not worry if they are cracked, tops will be covered.

   Pom Guava Filling:
8.5 oz guava curd or jam
1/3 cup pomegranate reduction

Whisk both ingredients together in a small bowl.

Once cakes are cool, remove paper liners.  Then spread about 1 teaspoon of filling on the top of each cake and place on a plate or flat surface. Reserve the remaining filling for the frosting.

The cakes are great without the frosting, so you may decide to use all the filling here and omit the frosting.

   Pom Guava Frosting:
1 tsp lime juice
3 tbs coconut or regular milk
2 tsp coconut extract
1/4 cup pom guava filling
2.5 lbs powdered sugar
1 cup butter 
red food coloring (for desired color)

With a electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes or until it becomes a smooth creamy consistency.  Add all the other ingredients (using only a few drops of coloring at first) and beat until blended. How much coloring and additional powdered sugar you want to add is preference. The icing can be as red or as thick as you want.

Pipe icing on the tops of cakes and chill for 1 hour before serving.