This cheesecake is made with a cream cheese called neufchatel. This cheese is from the Normandy region of France and is under EU protection. The version of neufchatel sold in the US is lighter than regular cream cheese. That got me interested in it and I went looking for it in my neighborhood Whole Foods. I was surprised to find it in the Whole Foods brand. I guess it is really popular here in the US.
The cream cheese was easy to work with and combined with the sour cream gave the cheesecake a lovely flavor. Using sour cream instead of whipping cream helped lighten the cake too. I debated whether to use fresh fruit compote to garnish the top but in the end settled for some kiwi slices. I baked the cheesecake in individual serving bowls. When the cake came out of the oven the aroma spread through the whole house.
You will need
For the crust
6 Digestive biscuits or graham crackers
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. butter, melted
For the filling
1 8 oz. packet Neufchatel cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Break the digestive biscuits or graham crackers in small pieces and place them in a plastic sealed bag. Using a rolling pin roll over the bag to crush the biscuits. In a mixing bowl combine the crushed biscuits with the sugar and melted butter. Place the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish or bowls. Press down such that it rises up about an 1/2 inch on the side.
Let the cold ingredients sit on the kitchen counter until they reach room temperature. It is a lot easier to work with. Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer for half a minute. Add the other ingredients and beat again for another half minute. Ladle the mixture over the crumb crust. Place the bowls on a baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake is jiggly but set. Let the cake cool slightly before placing the bowls in the refrigerator. Cool completely for about an hour or two. Garnish with fruit or chocolate.