Friday, November 28, 2014

Spiced Cheesecake with Black Currant Sauce

This cheesecake is the last recipe of my Thanksgiving collaboration with Boom Island Brewing Company. Every holiday season the brewery releases a Belgian holiday brew, dubbed Yule. Yule is a potent beer...upwards of 12%-13% ABV. A Belgian dark strong ale is probably the closest style one could use to describe it. Each year this holiday treat is brewed with a different fruit. This currant.

To match the richness of the boozy backbone and rich malt, I felt a cheesecake was appropriate. The spices are a nod to the holiday season...cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. And the gingersnap crust of course! The topping I opted for a black currant jam (far easier to find than fresh or frozen black currants this time of year) to tie into the fruit undertones of this beer. Raspberries, blackberries or blueberries would be equally as welcome.

This cheesecake was a treat to come up with. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

The recipe is my own

serves 10-12

for the crust
• 25-30 gingersnap cookies (2 cups finely ground)
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
• 2 Tbsp brown sugar
• ¼ tsp salt

for the filling
• 24 oz cream cheese, softened
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ cup brown sugar, packed
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 ½ cups sour cream
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ¼ tsp of allspice
• ½ tsp salt

for the topping
• 1 cup black currant jam

• Preheat oven to 350°F
• Place gingersnap cookies in a food processor. Cover and process until the cookies are the texture of very coarse sand. Add butter, brown sugar salt, and cinnamon. Process until well combined. Transfer mixture into a lightly greased 9-inch spring form pan. Using the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Once chilled, place spring form pan on a baking sheet and bake until crust is fragrant and set, about 10 minutes.
• In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the sour cream, cream cheese and sugars until smooth and free of lumps, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Stir vanilla, spices and salt. Pour into crust.
• Lower oven temperature to 325°F. Set the cheesecake on a baking sheet and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until the center is mostly set, but still jiggles slightly. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the spring form pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate.
• Spread a thin layer of currant jam over the top of the cheesecake. Enjoy!

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