Individual Cucumber Mint Ricotta No-Bake Cheesecakes
So this is one of those convoluted ones. And while there are things I could certainly do differently next time, I am super excited that these pretty much turned out!
It all started when I volunteered at this gala event for Scenarios USA, which is an awesome organization if you want to check it out, and for dessert they served this totally unusual dish which seemed to me like sweetened, semi-frozen ricotta wrapped in thinly-sliced cucumber, served with some sort of crumble and a cucumber-mint shot of something. So cool, and delicious, and definitely no what you’d expect at a large banquet-style dinner. And I had to try to recreate it.
My original plan was to flavor no-bake ricotta cheesecake from Just As Delish with cucumber, lemon, and mint,
(Really just equal parts cream cheese and ricotta, sweetened to taste with honey, and then add in lemon zest, and I added in lemon juice and liquid that I squeezed from puréed cucumber and mint – I had been planning to put in the purée like Kitchen Lizzard says they did, but I thought it would be a weird texture for cheesecake. They also suggest putting in some peppermint extract, which I put in so little of I’m not sure you can taste it)
Then I was going to roll it up in some waxed paper in a paper towel tube and let it sit like that in the refrigerator until it was solid enough to cut into pieces and wrap in cucumber, then I was planning to dip each side in an almond meal-based crumble and top with a mint leaf.
Well the waxed paper fiasco was a sticky mess and I couldn’t fit it in the paper towel tube, so I abandoned that plan and decided instead to use muffin tins. (But not before attempting to make a “cucumber crust” in a pie pan, which I also, thankfully, abandoned) I cut cucumber slices the long way and then in half and made circles out of them in the muffin tins.
Then I made a “crumble” crust for the bottom by mixing almond meal with honey and melted butter – just so that it stuck together, which it totally did and came out nicely at the end – a pleasant surprise to me since I didn’t follow any guidance for that one!
Then spooned the cheesecake “batter” into the cucumber-crumble cups and top with a little sprinkled crumble and a small mint leaf. Let that sit in the refrigerator for 1-2hrs to set. Removed carefully from the tins onto individual plates and serve! Perfect for Mother’s Day : )
At the end of the day, I would say the one shortcoming of the final result was the cucumber – because I don’t have a mandolin the slices were way too thick and didn’t do a good job of sticking to the finished cheesecakes. If you want to omit this cucumber part in yours I think it would work just fine, you could just put the crumble part all the way up the sides of the tins and just be really careful taking them out!