These Chai Spiced Cheesecakes are made with spices that depict the essence of the earth. Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg and Cloves form the heart of these Mixed Spice little beauties, with a ginger and almond base. They are rich and comforting and a perfect side to eat with a steaming cup of coffee.
The colours of the spices reminded me so much of the African Bush during the Winter months. For me, there is nothing quite as spectacular as Winter in the bush, with its cracked earth, dry grasslands and leafless trees. It’s as if time is standing still, waiting for the summer rains to transform it into a lush green oasis. Last month I spent a great weekend away with special friends and we were so privileged to spot and follow these two exquisite cheetah, who camouflaged themselves so well in the long dry grass.
I am not a big fan of baked cheesecakes, I normally prefer the fridge type, but I really enjoyed this Donna Hay recipe so I thought I would share it with you. I made a few modifications to suit my tastebuds, and if you like things really spicy, you could even add a little more of the Mixed Spice and Ginger, as once baked, this has a mild flavour.
How to make the base you will need a packet of ginger nut biscuits, almond meal and melted butter. These are all put into a food processor and coarsely chopped. Don’t go out and buy almond meal especially for this as it is very easy to make it. Press this biscuit base mixture into greased tins and refrigerate until firm.
How to make Almond Meal Place 1/2 cup blanched or unblanched almonds in a clean electric coffee bean grinder. Put the lid on the coffee bean grinder and pulse several times until a medium-fine textured meal forms. Don’t over-grind or you will make almond butter.
How to make the Filling Beat the cream cheese and sour cream, add the sugar, vanilla seeds and spices, and then the eggs. I baked these in varying size small tart tins, and once baked, sprinkled them with more cinnamon.
This is a Donna Hay recipe
- 200 g Ginger biscuits
- 60 g (1/2cup) almond meal
- 100 g butter, melted
- 500 g cream cheese, softened
- 120 g(1/2cup) sour cream
- 175 g(1 cup) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teasoon ground ginger
- 3 eggs
Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the gingernut biscuits and almond meal in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the butter and process to combine.
Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base and sides of 8 x 8cm-round lightly greased, deep-sided and loose-bottomed tart tins and then refrigerate these for 30 minutes.
Place the cream cheese and sour cream in an electric mixer and beat for 3–4 minutes or until smooth.
Add the sugar, vanilla seeds, mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger and beat for 3–4 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.
Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition until well combined.
Divide the mixture between the tart tins, place on a baking tray and bake for 15–20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold. Dust with the extra cinnamon to serve.