Smaller adaptations of favorite desserts, such as raspberry-swirled cheese-cake, are always appealing. Everyone gets his or her own, with plenty of buttery graham-cracker crust in each bite. Drops of fresh raspberry puree are pulled through cream-cheese batter to give the cakes a marbleized look. Baking the cupcakes in a hot-water bath produces the creamiest results and prevents the batter from sinking in the oven.
- Yield: 32
- 1½ cups finely ground graham crackers (about 12 sheets; use a mini chopper or food processor)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ cups plus 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 container (6 ounces) fresh raspberries
- 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together ground graham crackers, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Press 1 tablespoon crust mixture firmly into bottom of each lined cup. Bake until set, about 5 minutes. Transfer tins to a wire rack to cool.
- Process raspberries in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pass puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing with a flexible spatula to remove as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Whisk in 2 tablespoons sugar.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1½ cups sugar in a steady stream. Add salt and vanilla; mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each.
- Spoon 3 tablespoons filling over crust in each cup. Dollop ½ teaspoon raspberry puree in a few dots over each. With a wooden skewer or toothpick, swirl sauce into filling. Place each tin in a roasting pan (bake in batches, if necessary); pour enough hot water into pan to come three-quarters of the way up sides of cups.
- Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Carefully remove tins from water bath and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate (in tins) at least 4 hours (or out of tins up to 5 days in airtight containers). Remove from tins just before serving.