My favorite Indian Chai cheesecake

Préparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Resting time: 24 hours
Intermediate
This is a recipe that will not last long on the kitchen table. When you combine two « must eat » elements, here cheesecake and Chai, it can only be a success.
I usually share with you recipes with seasonal ingredients that are easy to make every day. They are always imagined when opening my fridge or going to my local fruit & vegetable market. However I also really love sweets. I can easily eat an icecream a day, whatever the season. If you do not believe me, you can ask my boyfriend who basically loves icecream just as much as I do.
I love baking pastries, simple ones though : It can be challenging to bake a mille-feuille between two swim practices, 3 hours of commute to work and my nutrition classes.

You can notice a dark slice made of jelly tea in the middle of the cake. I don’t think it was necessary so I’m not mentioning it in the recipe.
Coming back to my recipe, I was basically raised up with Chai, this spiced tea really is a symbole of entire country and everybody has its own recipe. I still remember the chaï vendors in India who passed with their thermos through trains several kilometers long, they shouted “chaaaaiiiiiiii” and the Indians never missed an opportunity to take one.
Each version was different and that of the “train salesmen” always had a rather pronounced taste of pepper. Pepper is the cheapest spice among all those put in this tea and I think it is the only reason that justifies this taste. For this reason, a good chai, for me, must have a strong taste of pepper. It is my Madeleine of Proust.
And if you want to make your own traditional Chai, find here the authentic Chai recipe of my childhood. I had prepared it for the last issue of “A la fraîche” with Victor Daviet. It is relatively simple to do, but the essential ingredient to have is the good “Assam” tea and to be generous with spices.
I wish you a good tasting and a beautiful day.

Ingredients
Base
-300g “speculos” a sort of gingerbread cookies.
-125g butter
Filling
-900g cream cheese
-35g flour
-1/4 lemon zest
-150g sugar
-2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
-100g sour cream
Spices
You don’t need much cinnamon here because de cookies are already loaded.
-3 tsp. cardamom powder
-3 tsp. ginger powder
-2 tsp. black pepper powder
-2 tsp. clove powder (take full cloves that you’ll mix in a coffee blender)
-1,5 tsp. cinnamon powder
Steps
1. Reduce the cookies into a powder texture with your hand or a food processor. If you do use a food processor, be careful to not over blend them, you still want some pieces of cookies in it. Add the melted butter and poor the preparation in 23cm cheesecake mould with a baking sheet underneath. Leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
2. For the cream filling, the cream cheese cheese needs to be at room temperature. Then put it into the bowl of your KitchenAid, or do this step manually. Start beating on the minimum power just to give a creamy texture and erase lumps. Keep beating up to 2 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat until it’s all mixed, not more: do not “over beat” the cheese.
3. Poor the cream into the buttered mould (you can also put cooking paper instead).
4. For a softer – smoother texture, add a small pot of boiling water in the lower part of the over in order to add steam during the cooking process.
Bake for 10 minutes at 390°F and low the temperature at 190°F for another 30 minutes. You want your cheesecake to be “freezed” on the outsides and “shaky” in the middle. Let it rest for another 2 hours in the oven.
5. Put into the fridge for 24 hours! It’s long the it’s the price to pay for a perfect cheesecake consistance 🙂

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