August 28th, 2008

ginger cheesecake

ginger cheesecake 1

let’s talk about cheesecake. it’s so rich and decadent that i usually can’t resist cutting myself pieces that are way too big for one person. you’ll have a tough time too with this cake, since it has ginger in the crust and in the cheese filling. i know it sounds crazy, but it works! the result is a creamy, tangy and soothing dessert (or breakfast or lunch or dinner or snack) that you’ll want to tell your friends about. don’t be afraid: embrace the ginger cheesecake.

ginger root

are you one of those people who likes the crust more than the actual cake? it can be a tough balance. with every bite, i’m torn between wanting more of both. for those of you who prefer the cheese, this crust just may turn you to the other (crusty?) side. it’s a mixture of ginger snaps and pecans, a combination so beautiful you should buy enough for two crusts in case you just eat the first before you can get it in the oven.

ginger cheesecake 2

i used several common tricks to reduce the likelihood that my cheesecake would crack, including putting a bowl of water in the oven to keep it moist and cooling the cake very slowly by not immediately turning off the heat. despite my efforts, the cake cracked like the grand canyon, and to be honest, i’m ok with it, because i think it actually gives it a lot of character.

ginger cheesecake 4

ginger cheesecake
adapted from several recipes. share this one with your friends.

crust
2 cups crushed pecans
1 1/2 cups crushed ginger snaps
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
3 tsp crushed ginger

cake
3 eggs
2 8oz packages cream cheese
3 cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1. crush the pecans and ginger snaps in a food processor (i only recomment the processor because both of these things are really difficult to crush by hand or even with a rolling pin). add to the melted butter and sprinkle in the crushed ginger. mix until moist. press crust into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.

2. microwave the cream cheese to soften it and add it to the sour cream. mix in the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and fresh grated ginger. pour over the crust in the pan.

3. bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes. the cake will be done when the sides and edges are firm and turn a bit golden brown. the middle may still jiggle a bit when you move the cake but it will continue baking from the inside. DO NOT open the oven door until the 45 minutes have passed. cool the cake slowly after the baking is finished (to avoid cracks) by turning off the oven and opening the door so the temperature does not drop so quickly. after about a half hour in the open oven, move the cake to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. refrigerate until chilled before serving.

BONUS!
if anyone is interested in how or where i take my photos, here is a sneak peek into my living room “studio:”

living room studio

that’s a cheesecake on a stool on top of a tv table. to get some of the good light i had to stand on the chair you can just barely see in the bottom right of the picture. the things i do for food.



55 Comments for ginger cheesecake - why not leave some love?

  1. Julia Mason says:

    I am going to copy that recipe and add it to my recipe file. Thanks for posting it.It will be just the thing for me to take to my daylily club’s Christmas Dinner . You can use low fat cream cheese or the fat free cream cheese with out affecting the the taste or texture but reduces calories somewhat.

  2. Catherine says:

    Ooohhhh, my God. Look at that gorgeous thing! You take magnificent photos. I am a fool for ginger (I eat it plain right off the sushi plate) so I know I would love this a ton. I will try the recipe someday hopefully in the not too distant future and let you know how it goes. I love your crust idea. Bake on!

  3. Kathy says:

    Very interesting recipe and will have to try it out. I love cheesecake and trying new recipes. Please check out my site at http://www.cheesecake-recipes.org

  4. brilynn says:

    I love cheesecake, this looks awesome!
    I especially like stealing a piece of cheesecake and freezing it and then eating it straight from the freezer… I’m weird, I know…

  5. Jacqueline says:

    !
    My friend and I were just dreaming about cheesecake and how much we love ginger, and then I find this post! Now I know exactly how to use the packs of cream cheese at home. Thanks for the great idea :)

  6. Naama says:

    What a wonderful idea for a cheesecake! ginger sounds like the perfect match for a great cheesecake, I must try this one :)

  7. Michele says:

    The slice looks deliciously moist. No candied ginger for garnish?

  8. megan says:

    i would never have thought cheesecake + ginger but it sounds (and looks!) absolutely divine :)

  9. Ginger cheesecake is awesome! I absolutely love this.

  10. Y says:

    Heh I get into all sort of precarious situations too, trying to take a decent photo of food :)

  11. Cyrus says:

    If you want to prevent the cheesecake from cracking, add a tablespoon of corn starch when mixing the batter. Then use the steam bath in the oven.

  12. petebakes says:

    @Cyrus – thanks for the tip! i’ll try that next time!

  13. Renee says:

    Ginger is wonderful…I can’t wait to try this recipe! I also liked your painting of the cheese shop. Cheese is also wonderful.
    Thanks
    my cheesecakes always crack.

  14. bredwell says:

    I love many cheese cakes……..no one in the replies talks about finish cheese cake?……good bad? /………FAB?

  15. tommy says:

    This looks GREAT. I am a real cheese cake fan (cracked and all!) Thanks for posting. Pictures are great as well.

  16. Beatrice says:

    I’ve never made a cheesecake before but I think I have to try this one.

    My food pix are taken on my apartment balcony. It’s going to be a little chilly in January…

  17. Brenda says:

    Pete,
    I thought I was through with cookin..but. thanks to you, almost 60 is not to young to continue cookin and goodness knows homemade rocks..Wahooo!!! Goin to warm up those pans again…lol…Thanks much..P.S..I’m not done till I’ve tried every recipe..you’ve brought life back to this here kitchen..

  18. Eli says:

    Amazing looking cheesecake. I am going to have to try this one!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Eli

  19. Steve says:

    A couple things to do to prevent cracks: don’t overbeat your ingredients to keep as much air out of your mix as possible and don’t open the oven door to take a peek of your creation. I make mine at night, turn off the oven at the required time and then go to bed. The next morning I usually have a crack-free cake waiting for me.

  20. Ansa says:

    this looks freakin amazing. One question though- is this salted or unsalted butter?

    • petebakes says:

      hi Ansa! all of my recipes use unsalted butter. i’m not actually sure what salted butter is for, to be honest. i’ve never used it in a recipe.

  21. frogi says:

    What is “crushed” ginger? Is this grated fresh ginger or chopped crystalized ginger or powdered ginger?
    Thanx

  22. [...] ginger cheesecake recipe pete bakes Posted by root 3 hours ago (http://www.peterandrewryan.com) You can use low fat cream cheese or the fat free cream cheese with out affecting the the taste or texture but reduces calories somewhat Discuss  |  Bury |  News | ginger cheesecake recipe pete bakes [...]

  23. Sara says:

    oh this looks so delicious. i’m going to make my own gingersnaps and try out this recipe. does the crust have to be baked first though?

  24. joyce p says:

    This cheesecake was fantastic! I was so surprised how different ginger can taste in so many different things!

  25. melissa says:

    We tried this for our thanksgiving dessert, WOW I love it. Ours cracked as well, but….hey!
    We had extra filling (I think our pan was too small) but used the rest of the cheesecake filling to make bars. We ran out of snaps so we covered the bottom of the bar-pan with grape-nuts instead, and they rocked (xtra crunchy)!
    Keep up the great work!
    Thanks for the recipie

    ps we are artists as well and having a show next thursday in McLean if you are around, come check it out at the McLean Project for the Arts!
    http://www.mpaart.org/exhibitionsfutr.php

  26. penny says:

    I was just wondering how to use up an excess of ginger snaps – well here we go. I’m going to put some whipped cream on top (in case of cracks) and then a sprinkle of glace ginger

  27. i just leave munching and eating cheesecakes, they are tasty and yummy-;.

  28. i’d love to munch those very big cheesecakes, they are really tasty and sweet–,

  29. [...] Butter Cheesecake from Dinner and Dessert Bourbon Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake from Andrea Meyers Ginger Cheesecake from Pete [...]

  30. Mary Alice says:

    I have a friend that loves ginger. I made this for her about about a year ago and when I needed to make it again, I am glad the recipe was still there. It was totally yummy. Next time, I would even add more ginger to the cheesecake part. I did make it with a graham cracker crust, rather than a ginger snap crust, so I didn’t have the ginger in the crust, just because I forgot to have the ginger snap cookies available. Next time, I’d either make the crust with ginger snaps or, if I used graham crackers, I’d add ginger to the crust. Lemon cheesecake is quite popular. Judging by the relative scarcity of ginger cheesecake recipes, I am not sure why ginger cheesecake isn’t more popular.

  31. mike says:

    I made this and it came out wonderfully! I couldnt believe how easy it was. Unfortunately I mightve over done the amount of ginger in the crust, otherwise it was perfect.
    Since I have family members that cant digest nuts, I ground them down to fine grain that woudnt be a problem and added that to the gingersnap crust.
    THANKS PETE!

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  44. Melissa says:

    One thing I do Is leave some left over filling. So if that the cheese cake cracks I use it to fill in the cracks. I do this 30mins or longer after it has cool down. I then place it in fridge n let it sit overnight! Never even known it cracked!

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