I have made a test steam oven cheesecake recipe for this site on no less than 5 occasions over the past year. Each time, something has been just a tiny bit ‘off’ such that we’ve ended up with a very serviceable cake but I’ve not been happy enough with it to share here (not that my husband is complaining – I almost think he might be trying to find something wrong with each version so I have to bake yet another cheesecake). On the most recent attempt I nailed everything except the actual cream cheese component, cheaping out with watery store-brand cheese and paying the price with a too-soft filling. It turns out saving a couple of dollars thinking the store brand will be just as good as the ubiquitous silver-boxed blocks is not the way to go. There’s a lesson in that for all of us.
So, still no proper cheesecake recipe to speak of, but I hope you’ll forgive me, because this week I discovered the best cheat’s version around. They’re portion controlled (well, they are if you stop at one), pretty, take minutes to put together and roughly a fifth of the cooking time of a full scale cake. Oh, and they involve a combi steam oven’s best friend, puff pastry. The only thing I think they might be missing is a delicious crumb crust, but, well, did I mention that puff pastry? Flaky, creamy, sharpened with lemon and not too sweet, they are definitely the best thing to come out of my steam oven this week, and now, hopefully yours.
I cannot in any way lay claim to creating these pastries, having found this photo on Pinterest a couple of months ago (BTW, I have been very busy over there! If you're ever in need of some inspiration, my boards are full of things which would work beautifully in your steam oven). I thought about altering them to include, say, dark chocolate or nuts (both of which would admittedly be very nice) instead of the berries, but I ended up going back to the original because I find it so hard to go past anything involving raspberries and lemon. That said, I think they’d be fantastic with sliced strawberries and possibly even better with fresh pitted cherries. I’m not sure if you can tell (ha!), but red fruits and cream cheese are hands down one of the best combinations I can think of.
There you go people – put your steam oven to delicious use and knock up a batch of pastries for a very welcome morning tea contribution or even an indulgent brunch. And then commend yourself for baking something which tastes so much more difficult than it actually is.
Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.
Steam Oven Raspberry Cheesecake Pastries
Makes 8, though I think you could easily scale them down to make the most gorgeous little mini pastries as a sweet finger food. Just alter the cooking time to suit.
I cooked one tray straightaway but froze the others, fully assembled but unbaked. When we wanted to eat them I just put them in the oven straight from frozen, where they baked up perfectly (I added 3 minutes to the cooking time). Another bonus.
1 x 250g (8oz) block cream cheese, cubed, at room temperature (I think we’ve established above, buy the ‘real’ branded one – I use Philadelphia)
30 g (¼ cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold
2-3 tbs raspberry jam
32 whole raspberries (about a cup depending on individual size - frozen is fine)
Extra icing sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 200⁰C (combination steam). If your oven has variable steam settings, use around 60%. Line 2 23 x 20cm baking trays with silicone paper and set aside.
Put your cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the icing sugar and mix on low speed to combine. Mix in the lemon zest and juice just until you have a smooth, soft mixture.
Take your pastry sheets and cut each one into quarters, then cut a small diagonal slit at the corner of each piece, extending about 3cm in towards the middle so you’ve got 8 little triangle ‘flaps’ (see the picture below for reference).
Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the pastry squares (about a tablespoon and a half for each one) and spread it into a rough circle in the middle of each, using the little cuts you made as guidelines. Top the cream cheese with the jam (no need to spread this out, it’ll do its own thing in the oven), then place four raspberries at the outer edges of the cream cheese (again, see picture).
Pick up alternating flaps of pastry and fold them towards the middle, creating a pinwheel shape. Roll the other flaps in on themselves, pinching slightly where they meet the folded flaps to keep them rolled up while baking. Carefully transfer to the lined trays – I could comfortably fit 4 on each, giving space for expanding in the oven.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until puffed and golden all over. Let cool slightly before dusting with icing sugar and serving warm.
But I don’t have a steam/combi-steam oven! Bake your pastries in a 190⁰C fan forced oven for 20-25 minutes instead.