I have a thing for madeleines. A big thing for them. When William was a baby, we used to go to Starbucks and share a package of vanilla madeleines. He loved them so much I always bought an extra package to have in my diaper bag for emergencies. Donsuemor contacted me and asked me if I would like to participate in their Dessert a Day campaign. Umm.. yes. Create a recipe using something that I already love? Done and done. They asked me what product I would like to use; lemon, vanilla, chocolate, chocolate-dipped, or almond tea cakes. I adore almond anything, it took me about 2 minutes to decide which madeleine I wanted to work with. I came up with this mini almond cheesecake and baked them in half-pint Mason jars. I needed to bring a dessert to a party and thought that these would be perfect for two reasons. You have to make them a day ahead of time, and you know how I love a make ahead dessert. And they are completely portable, and not to mention adorable. If you do not have half-pint Mason jars, you can bake these in a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. Just skip the water bath.
12 French Almond Cakes
2 Tablespoons melted butter
12 ounces room temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1 Tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pulse the French Almond Cakes in a food processor. Pulse until they resemble bread crumbs. Add the melted butter. And pulse again.
Use an ice cream scoop and add the almond cake mixture to the mason jar.
Use the back of a spoon and press the crumbs down. Put the jars in a 9×13 baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.
Add the cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Run until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom and run again. Add the egg, lemon, sour cream, vanilla, almond extract, and salt.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the baked crust. Boil a kettle of water.
Take one of the jars out, and pour boiling water halfway up the sides of the jars. Add the jar back to the pan, this step helps not get water into the cheesecakes. Watery cheesecakes are just no good.
Bake the cheesecakes for 25 to 30 minutes. The edges should be set, but still have a little jiggle. Cool completely and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Garnish with whipped cream, a single raspberry, and sliced almonds.