; Supermarket Serenade: Ginger-Chai Cheesecake with White Chocolate Cream

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ginger-Chai Cheesecake with White Chocolate Cream

Chai is again an inspiration for a holiday treat that can be made ahead of time (I'm cooking enough on Christmas Eve so making dessert in advance is always something I love).

I have always been a tea drinker. When I was a small child I would sit excitedly with my cousin Lynn and wait for my grandmother Molly to pour my next cup in her fine Irish teacups. Already brewed in her Belleek teapot, she would pour the tea into each cup filling 1/4 of the way and we would fill the rest of the cup with milk and sugar. Over the years I've reduced the milk and sugar to none, but every so often if I'm craving a sweet cup of something I'll have a cup of chai tea with milk and sugar.

This cheesecake was inspired by my love of chai. While the Chai Latte Fudge I previously shared with you was made with a chai spice blend found in the spice aisle of the supermarket, this recipe actually uses chai teabags to infuse the batter with chai flavor.
Super tip:This recipe was a runner up in the Hood Holiday Recipe contest last year. The Hood contest is taking place this year as well, so if you have a favorite recipe that incorporates sour cream or heavy cream that you have created you should send it in...but hurry the contest ends January 16th!

I've topped the cheesecake with a white chocolate cream and the crust is made from crushed ginger cookies and crystallized ginger...it couldn't be easier and it's a delicious, impressive holiday dessert.
I have prepared just the cheesecake part for a luncheon on Tuesday and I'm going to wrap it and store it in the freezer until Monday. On Monday I will prepare the white chocolate cream, chill overnight and it will be ready to serve at my luncheon on Tuesday. This is how it looks so far:

I'll post the finished picture on Tuesday!

Ginger-Chai Cheesecake with White Chocolate Cream

2 cups finely ground ginger flavored cookies
1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

6 chai teabags
1/2 cup boiling water
4 packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup Hood Sour Cream
4 eggs, room temperature

4 oz. good quality white chocolate
1 cup Hood Sour Cream

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Chilling Time: at least 3-4 hours or overnight

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover the outside of a 9-inch spring form pan with aluminum foil and place pan on a 9" x 16" or similar baking sheet.

To make the crust, in a medium-sized bowl, stir together the ground cookies, crystallized ginger and the melted butter. Press the mixture in the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the spring form pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.

To make the filling, steep the teabags in the 1/2 cup boiling water in a small bowl for 10 minutes. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and 1 cup of Hood Sour Cream until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, pulse or blend after each addition just until eggs are incorporated. Press the teabags against the side of the small bowl to completely drain; discard teabags.

Add the steeped tea to the cheesecake batter and process or blend just until combined. Pour the batter over the cooled crust. Place the cheesecake on the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. On the bottom rack, place a 13" x 9" pan filled with hot water. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and center is set. Turn off the oven, open door slightly and let cake stay in the oven for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack. Run a sharp knife around the outside edges of the cheesecake, but do not release the sides.

To make the white chocolate cream, melt the white chocolate in a medium-sized bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Fold the melted chocolate into the sour cream. Spread the white chocolate cream over the cheesecake. Chill the cheesecake in the pan for at least 3 hours until firm. Release the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving platter; cut into wedges to serve.


Veggie Mom said...

OK...so I guess this isn't the right time to start my diet. This cheesecake looks heavenly!

Mary said...

You are trying to kill me! I guess it won't hurt to postpone the diet for one more day!

Veronica said...

Ladies...dieting around Christmas??No way!!

Barbara said...

Veronica, two fudges in a row. What yummy fun!

Allie said...

Oh how my mouth is watering!

The Blonde Duck said...

It's a good thing calories don't count at Christmas!

Maria said...

What a lovely dessert!

Katherine Aucoin said...

The Chai with the cheesecake sounds like a really unique and interesting flavor. I've never met a heesecake I didn't like. Merry Christmas Veronica.

Jessica said...

All of your food looks so good and your pictures are beautiful! It makes me hungry just looking at them :-)

HoneyB said...

The cheesecake looks great! No cracks! :)

That Girl said...

What a lovely tree!

The Blonde Duck said...

Looks tasty!

Julie said...

Chai cheesecake sounds wonderful!
I've left an award for you on my blog. Check it out if you get a chance.

anudivya said...

Wow, never thought of chai spice in cheesecake. Looks lovely.