Friday, April 22, 2011

Chai-Spiced Cheesecake with Ginger Crust

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Chai-Spiced Cheesecake with Ginger Crust
~Bon Appetit, February 2007~
12 servings

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.

When Serving:
Remove pan sides.  Cut into wedges and serve.

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