You guys know me by now. I take any and every excuse for celebration and do my best to turn it into a full-on party. Maybe it’s because I love my friends; maybe it’s because I love seeing fresh-cut flowers and balloons scattered about my house. Whatever the case may be, I adore the party planning process, particularly as it pertains to selecting a menu and theme. These white chocolate cheesecake tartlets were among the goodies I shared at a gathering a few weeks ago, and I’m thrilled to get to chat about them with you all today as the last installment of this year’s #monthofchocolate.
Brett and I attend a couple’s small group at our church on Sunday mornings. It’s a mix of couples, mostly married and some not, ranging in age from late twenties to late fifties-ish, and it is such a healthy and life-giving thing for us. In an effort to get out of the “classroom” and really just have fun, we decided to have a Valentine’s Day Italian dinner. I bought big, shiny heart-shaped balloons and tacky heart confetti and banners to put around my house. We drank wine and ate big pans of my mother-in-law’s lasagna by the candlelight provided from leftover glass votives and tea lights from our wedding. It was entirely cheesy and unnecessary, but even as I sit here typing, I’m totally smiling big because it was just so fun. It feels good to unplug, connect, and have silly, easy conversation with people that love you back.
Dessert was all chocolate, partly due to theme and partly out of sheer convenience. In the throws of testing recipes for #monthofchocolate, I was overrun with test batches of flourless chocolate cake, vegan fluffernutter cookies, and these cutie little white chocolate cheesecake tartlets. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to share bites of tester tastes to friends who wouldn’t judge a work in progress recipe. All in all, the night was terrific, and I’m thrilled that you get a taste of that evening today with this elegant and simple recipe.
These white chocolate cheesecake tartlets are a variation of a no-bake cheesecake that I’ve been making for years. The crust is a sweet and crumbly shortbread and is the only portion of the recipe that requires any time in the oven at all. With few ingredients involved, I lean on Kerrygold’s salted butter for flavor and quality. As with most shortbreads, the flavor of this crust is seriously buttery, and I prefer to use a product that has the just-right balance between sweet and salty. This crust, quite literally, melts in your mouth and there’s not doubt in my mind that Kerrygold butter plays a starring role in that.
The filling here (made in the microwave, btw!) is nothing more than cream cheese, chopped white chocolate, and a little bit of sugar and vanilla for flavor. The mixture gets folded into whipped cream and it sets up in the fridge to a soft-cheesecake consistency. The fancy show-stopper of these white chocolate cheesecake tartlets is the blood orange swirl. A simple sauce made from blood orange juice, sugar, and cornstarch comes together on the stove and sets to a thick saucy consistency. The mixture can be used in a number of ways (think flavored cocktails, cake fillings, toast toppings, and ice cream compotes!), but here, we use it for it’s floral tang, mild sweetness, and stunning color. You can use a store-bought jam or sauce here in a pinch, but I love putting that fleeting winter produce to use.
I finished off the white chocolate cheesecake tartlets with candied walnuts that I purchased from the store, but this is entirely unnecessary. You can serve solo or opt to finish off with more sauce, whipped cream, or even little ginger cookie crumbles. Find something with texture in your pantry and HAVE AT IT. These little white chocolate cheesecake tartlets are seriously adaptable and would be complimented by a multitude of toppings.
Many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring these little white chocolate cheesecake tartlets. Be sure to grab a pack (or five!) of their butter for baking up these little tartlets and more. Any dessert this special deserves the added bonus of quality, uncompromised butter, and you can expect that with Kerrygold. I hope you all have enjoyed this year’s #monthofchocolate and I look forward to getting back to business in March with tons of all new words and recipes. Happy Thursday and Happy Baking!
If you like these white chocolate cheesecake tartlets you should check out:
White Chocolate Cheesecake Tartlets with Blood Orange Swirl
These white chocolate cheesecake tartlets are mini no-bake cheesecakes swirled with a simple blood orange sauce.
- Prep Time: 25
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 120
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dessert
For the blood orange sauce:
- 1 pound blood oranges
- ¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
- 1–1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the shortbread crusts:
- ¾ cup (170 gm) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1–1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1–1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the cheesecake filling:
- 5.5 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts, if desired
To prepare the blood orange jam:
- Peel, slice and seed the blood oranges, being sure to remove as much of the pith (white skin on fruit) as possible, as this will cause the jam to taste bitter. Puree the fruit in a blender or fruit processor until a pulpy juice forms. Pour the juice into a saucepan and whisk in the sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Turn the heat to medium and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Allow to boil, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes until thickened slightly. Turn off the heat, skim the bubbles off the top and and place in a heat-safe container to chill in the fridge to at least room temp.
To prepare the crusts:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter in a medium-sized mixing bowl until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, and flour and stir on low until a crumbly mixture forms. When you press it between your fingers it should pack like wet sand. Divide the mixture between the 6- 4” tart pans with removable bottoms (I used just shy of ½ cup in each pan) and press into the sides and bottom of the pan in an even layer. I find it’s easiest to press into the sides first and then smooth the remaining dough into the bottom. Place the tart pans on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to pan until firm, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely.
To prepare the tarts:
- Combine the white chocolate and cream cheese in a microwave-safe mixing bowl and microwave in 25 second intervals, stirring regularly afterwards. This allows the white chocolate to melt gently. Continue this process until the clumps of white chocolate combine smoothly with the softened cream cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla and heavy whipping cream and whip until medium peaks form. Fold about half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and then fold the remaining whipped cream in until smooth. Be careful to not overwork it. Fill the cooled tart dishes with some of the cream cheese mixture, about 2/3 of the way full, alternating with some of the blood orange jam. I use about 2 tablespoons of sauce in each tart pan. Once the tart pans are filled, use a toothpick to gently swirl the two mixtures together. If you ended up with a big glob of cream cheese on top you can drop a few rounds of sauce on top to make pretty swirls. Place the finished tarts in the fridge to set up. Prior to eating, pull the tarts out of the fridge, pop the tarts out of the pan, and allow to rest at room temp for about 15-20 minutes to allow the crust to soften slightly. Top with toasted walnuts, if desired.
- You can substitute in a different jam or preserves for the blood orange sauce. Just loosen it a bit with water until it reaches sauce consistency.
This post has been sponsored by Kerrygold. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Wood & Spoon possible.