It was my friend Adam's birthday on Sunday, and every year for the past five years, he's celebrated with a "MargaritaQ". Burgers are grilled, bowls of different flavoured chips are scattered about the apartment for nibbling, and Adam whips up batches of margaritas in his blender. Although I could only stay for a couple hours at this year's MargaritaQ, I had a lot of fun chatting with some old friends and meeting some new ones. (Thanks again, Adam!)
Adam was instrumental in the naming of the "cupcheesecake". The first time I brought them to the Trib office, I decided that calling them "cheesecake cupcakes" would be too much of a mouthful. So I alternated between calling them "cupcheesecakes" and "cheesecupcakes". "Cheesecupcakes sound like cupcakes with a slab of cheese on top," Adam wisely advised me. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Now I know cupcheesecakes have made an appearance on this blog before, and they've also made an appearance at a past MargaritaQ (I'm not very creative with my gift-giving sometimes), so I wanted to make cupcheesecakes with a twist. Seeing as how my cupcheesecake recipe already uses lemon zest and juice, I thought, "What if I replaced the lemon with lime? And what if I added TEQUILA?" And thus, the Margarita Cupcheesecake was born.
To be honest, I haven't made cupcheesecakes in a while and I was a little nervous. Opening the original recipe, I found that it just asked to grease the muffin tin instead of using cupcake liners. "Oh no, I thought. Did the cupcheesecakes fall apart last time after I took them out of the liners? I don't remember..." Fortunately, these ones were pretty good about holding their shape and even if they didn't, I'd much rather deal with cheesecakes falling apart in my hand than falling apart trying to remove them from the pan.
The cupcheesecakes came together pretty quickly, thanks to the fact that I was good about making sure the cream cheese was softened - I left it on the counter for just over an hour, then opened the packages up, broke them in half over the bowl, and zapped it in the microwave for 15 seconds for good measure. Then all the other ingredients except the eggs go in - sugar, lime juice and zest, tequila. With the help of a hand mixer, it wasn't long before the batter was all ready, and with the green flecks of zest, it looked a little bit like ranch dip.
They went in the oven for about 25 minutes, where they rose into little, cracked domes, then deflated as they cooled. After I threw them in the fridge for more cooling, my mom and I fiddled with the limes that we used as garnish. To be honest, the garnish was a bit of an afterthought for me - if I'd thought ahead, I might've made candied limes, bought a zester to make lime peel curls, or even bought some cute lime-shaped candies.
I'd actually originally just slapped on some half-moon shaped slices, but then my mom took one look and exclaimed, "That's so ugly!" then proceeded to cut slits in the middle and twist them into an "S" shape. I still wish my garnish was more edible though.
- 170 mL (⅔ cup) graham cracker crumbs
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) white sugar
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) butter/non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
- 2 packages (225 g/8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 125 mL (½ cup) white sugar
- Juice and zest of 1 lime (works out to about 7 mL/1½ tsp zest, 30 mL/2 tbsp juice)
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) tequila*
- 2 eggs
*My cupcheesecakes didn't turn out as boozy as I would've liked, so you may want to add a full shot of tequila, or only juice half of the lime. Also, if you have triple sec on hand, you can add that in place of some or all of the tequila.
- Preheat oven to 165˚C (325˚F). Grease muffin pan or line with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter/margarine with a fork until combined. Measure a rounded tablespoon of the mixture in the bottom of each muffin cup, pressing firmly. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes, then remove to cool. Keep oven on.
- Beat together cream cheese, sugar, lime juice, lime zest and tequila until fluffy. Mix in eggs.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture into muffin cups, filling each until ¾ full (about two rounded tablespoons.) Bake for 25 minutes and cool completely in pan before removing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutrition Info (per cupcheesecake): 221 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated), 81 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrates (0 g fibre, 13 g sugar), 4 g protein, 174 mg sodium.