Eve told me about Jelly Hearts sometime ago and I really wanted to attempt it. I tried them once for a little gathering at Flo’s but they didn’t turn out so good.
The problem I had with it was that because I needed the cheese to still be slightly soft so that the strawberry shape will stay, bits of the cheese layer floated up after I added the jello. But if I waited for the cheese to set completely before adding the jello, the strawberry floats up.
So for M’s TATP (Tea @ the Patio) last week (which I also made lemon chocolate cake pops), I made tweaks to how I set each layer, which was just a little bit more time consuming, but results were really good.
I also decided to make them in little individual cups. And for the cheesecake purists, you can turn back now. This is a light NO-BAKE cheesecake, so if you absolutely need your cheesecakes baked and heavy, this is not for you. Heh.
Crumble the digestive biscuits. I love using my stone pestle for this cos it makes it so easy.
Add butter to the crumbs and mix well. Don’t be over-zealous with the crumbling. You don’t want them powder-fine.
Distribute them into the individual cups (my recipe makes about 10-12 of these cups) and throw them into the freezer to set. Yes, the freezer.
Blend the cream cheese, milk and sugar till a nice smooth consistency…
…then add the gelatine mixture to it, blend again. The consistency might feel too watery, but don’t worry, it’ll be fine. Take the cups out of the freezer and pour the cheese mixture in till the cups a just slightly more than half full. IMPORTANT: Set aside about 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture. You’ll need it later. Put the mixture back into freezer. (Yes, the freezer again)
Prepare the strawberry shapes. The original Jelly Hearts calls for strawberries cut into heart shapes. I used a flower cookie cutter instead.
Now, the next bit is important, and I forgot to take pictures. So instead, here’s a picture of the beautiful strawberries I used.
Ok, now back to the important bit. This step will ensure that you don’t have cheese mixture or strawberries floating in your jello.
Take the cups out from the freezer, the cheese mixture should have set. Place a strawberry shape on the set cheesecake, and very, very carefully, spoon the cheese mixture that you had set aside previously, around the strawberry.
Be careful not to add too much mixture and cover the strawberry too much, just a little will do, but it has to come in contact will all sides of the strawberry. I swirled it around a bit just to make sure of that.
Quickly place the cups back into the freezer (yup, the freezer) again.
Mix the jello/jelly mixture according to packet instructions. Let cool.
Bring the cups out of the freezer after approximately 8 minutes and test if the added cheese mixture has set. Slowly spoon the cooled jello mixture on top of the strawberry shape.
You’ll get this:
Now, place the cups back into the fridge to set. Yup, not the freezer anymore. =)
They’re ready to be enjoyed after the jello has set completely. =) They were well-received at M’s TATP, so… SUCCESS!
Here’s the recipe:
Individual Strawberry Jello Cheesecake (Jelly Hearts)
(makes 10-12 individual cups)
13 -14 pcs of digestive biscuits (more if you like your biscuit base)
125 g butter (softened)
1 pkg (250g) cream cheese (I use the Philadelphia brand)
3 tablespoons sugar
125ml fresh milk
125ml warm water
6 large strawberries (halved)
1 pkg strawberry flavoured jello/jelly
Crush biscuits and add softened butter, mixing well. Spoon into cups and lightly press to form a firm base. Place in freezer.
Blend cream cheese, milk and sugar in a blender until you get a smooth consistency. Dissolve gelatin in warm water and add to cheese mixture. Blend again.
Reserve about 1/3 cup of cheese mixture. Set aside. Take the cups out from the freezer and pour the remaining mixture into the cups on top of the biscuit base till slightly more than half full. Freeze cups to set the cheese mixture.
Using a cookie cutter, cut shapes out of the halved strawberries. Prepare the jello/jelly according to package instructions and let cool.
Take the cups out from the freezer again and place a strawberry shape in each cup on top of the set cheese mixture. Slowly spoon a little reserve cheese mixture at the sides of each strawberry shape. Return to freezer.
When the reserve cheese mixture has set, slowly spoon the jello mixture directly onto the strawberry.
Refrigerate till jello/jelly has set. Serve chilled.