Sense of Home
My day began with sour milk in my oatmeal and the cat puking on the carpet, after that my expectations for the day were not very high. I had story hours around town and the sky was gloomy and spitting rain as I ran from my car to the preschools. I returned to the library to find an email from a board member saying that a reporter wanted to do another story on our potential building project at 5pm, which meant one more bad photo and incoherent quote; like I said my expectations for the day weren't real high. Arriving home I decided to open one of the jars of chicken noodle soup I canned last fall for dinner, in part to warm up and because I could not muster the energy to do anything more.
The soup was warm and comforting and the sun actually began to peek out as it was setting. My thoughts turned to the weekend and what I might cook or bake, these thoughts are never very far from my mind, but the day was not over and there were evening chores to take care of and preparations for the next days work. Then around 10pm, while watching the local news, I began to page through an old Bon Appetit and came across a recipe for Chai Cheesecake. Both my husband and I enjoy chai tea, those east Indian spices, the hot milk and cream that warms you from the inside out. I was sure this recipe would be a hit, but I turned to my husband anyway and asked what he thought, his response was "Yes!", as if I really needed to ask, of course he would like chai cheesecake, so it was settled, I would make chai cheesecake on the weekend.
Did you know there is black pepper in chai? Likely you did, but I was surprised by this in the ingredient list. Look at all the wonderful spices in this cheesecake. There is even crystallized ginger in the crust. There is no need for a fruit topping on this cake, the flavor is all inside, I added the sliced strawberries for photo color and eye appeal, but they simply are not necessary. This is a creamy, rich cake, I mean 32 ounces of cream cheese, 8 ounces of mascarpone, I sent some home with my daughter and we still had plenty left over to eat on since a thin slice is all you can eat at one time.
Chai-Spiced Cheesecake with Ginger Crust
~Bon Appetit, February 2007~
Nonstick canola oil spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/3 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To Make the Crust:
Spray a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides with the nonstick spray. Sift the flour, ginger, and salt into a bowl. Then in an electric mixer bowl beat butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in egg yolk and flour mixture, then stir in the crystallized ginger. Gather dough into a ball and on a floured surface flatten into a disk. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a 9-inch round. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared springform pan. Press onto bottom and 1 1/2- to 2-inches up the side of the pan. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pierce frozen dough crust all over with a fork. Line crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Remove paper and beans and continue to bake crust until it is just golden brown and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes, watch closely. Cool crust on rack.
To Make the Filling:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add mascarpone; beat until smooth. Beat in in whole eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in yolks. Add the next 6 ingredients and beat until blended. Transfer filling to cooled crust in pan.
Bake cake for 1 hour. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees F. and continue to bake until the cake is set around the edges but the center moves slightly when pan is gently shaken (the top of the cake may crack), about 25 to 30 minutes longer, watch closely. Remove cake from oven and increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
To Make the Topping:
Whisk all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl and spread evenly over the top of the cake. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife around the cake sides. Refrigerate uncovered overnight, then cover and leave chilled until serving.
This dish can be made 2 days ahead.
Remove pan sides. Cut into wedges and serve.
Sense of Home / Recipes / Desserts
This post is shared with Sweets for Saturday.