While I was home with my parents for Christmas, my mom and I attempted to make macarons for the first time. Of course, I ended up taking over because I am me after all. Sadly, the chocolate macarons weren’t amazing, but I came out with a couple decent looking ones. They just didn’t have quite the consistency they should have. Oh, and I also burnt most of them (oops!), but that’s ok. We live, we learn, we shall try again soon. Macarons are not easy things to make. But now that I have a bag of almond flour, which is bloody expensive stuff, I plan on trying again soon!
I decided to put those imperfect macaron shells to good use instead of throwing them away with my burnt ones, so I used them to make cheesecake crust. Sounds cool, right? Now, I’ve got to be honest and tell you that you won’t notice some crazy difference from your usual cheesecake crust, BUT it’s still awesome and tastes like a delicious mini cheesecake with a slightly chocolatey crust. As with anything, the chocolate whipped cream and topping takes the cake though. Recipe for that to follow here as well. Sometimes the fun of it is just being able to tell people that the cheesecake they’re eating has a macaron crust. Still, you’ll love the classic cheesecake topped with a dollop of cocoa flavored whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Yum! Ok, now onto the macaron crust…
Macaroon crust ingredients:
- 1/2 cup finely ground macarons (12-15 pieces)
- 2 tbs melted butter
- 1 tbs granulated sugar
First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Finely grind the macarons in a food processor and move them to a bowl. Mix in the melted butter and sugar with a spatula, pressing into the mixture until it begins to stick together slightly. Scoop the macaron crust into a lined cupcake pan and use a large spoon or a rounded tablespoon to press the crust down. I found that using a tablespoon works much better because the different roundness allows you to push down easier in the smaller cups. Then pop the pan in the oven for 4-5 minutes to set the crust, and let it cool before pouring in the cheesecake filling.
- 1 package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
Mix together the room temperature cream cheese and granulated sugar until creamy. Add in the vanilla and egg, beating well between each until the filling is well mixed. When the cupcake pan is completely cooled, scoop spoonfuls of cheesecake filling on top of the macaron crust until it is evenly poured between all of the cups. Bake on 325 degrees for about 25 minutes until the middle jiggles slightly. Let cool on the counter for a few minutes before moving to the fridge for at least an hour, but overnight is better.
Chocolate whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
First, set aside a couple spoonfuls of your 1 cup of whipping cream in a small bowl. Pour in the cocoa powder in and use a spoon to mix it well until it is no longer lumpy – doing it this way reduces the chances of lumps in your whipped cream. Using the whisk attachment, beat together the cocoa mixed and the rest of the whipping cream on high speed, adding the sugar as it mixes. It’s important you use a high speed to whip the cream to achieve the appropriate consistency. Beating it slowly will not make it whip and could actually cause a yucky curdling of the cream. After about 30 seconds of high speed whipping, you should begin to see the stiffness of the whipped cream. Whip it until the removed whisk creates obvious peaks in the whipped cream, and then move it to a piping bag or tool (I use this Wilton dessert decorator for small pieces like these and love it). Pipe the whipped cream on each mini cheesecake and drizzle with good ol’ fashioned chocolate syrup, or maybe add some shaved chocolate instead.
When you eat a piece of one of this mini cheesecakes, I bet you’ll never guess that the delicious slightly chocolatey crust is actually made from macarons. It certainly won’t be mistaken for your standard graham cracker crust though. In case you try making macarons, at least you know you have a use for your broken or misshaped macaron shells. Get baking and enjoy!