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ginger cheesecake

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.

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.

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
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:”

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.