IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A UNIQUE Asian twist to the traditional pumpkin cheesecake, then this is the perfect recipe. It combines the aromatic smoky flavor of cardamom along with ancient Oolong tea. When these two ingredients are combined with earthy pumpkin, it results in an exotic explosion of intense flavor.
Cardamom is known for its strong and pungent flavor, and is related to the ginger family. There is green and black cardamom. Black is the most commonly used, as it is less expensive. Some may also taste hints of mint and lemon, which is usually found in the greed pods.
Cardamom is used in Asian and Indian cuisines mostly, but here it ties in with the American tradition of pumpkin cheesecake. Oolong tea is one of the most popular teas in the Asian community for its incredible health benefits: it can promote weight loss, aid in heart health, and treat certain digestive
Oolong tea is only made by tea masters that have at least 20 years of experience. This particular tea undergoes a special fermentation process, and is broken and bruised by hand—no machines are used. It has similarities to both black and green tea, which some believe is the perfect combination.
For the pumpkin cheesecake:
|3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room
|3 (227-gram) packages cream cheese, room temperature
|1 cup granulated sugar
|237 ml OR 216 grams granulated sugar
|½ cup light brown sugar
|118 ml OR 100 grams light brown sugar
|1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
|1 (411-ml OR 425-gram) can pumpkin puree
|½ cup sour cream
|118 ml OR 124 grams sour cream
|2 teaspoons ground cardamom
|10 ml OR 4 grams ground cardamom
|1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
|5 ml OR 3 grams ground cinnamon
|½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
|2 ml OR 1 gram ground nutmeg
|Zest of 1 orange
|Zest of 1 orange
|3 eggs, room temperature
|3 eggs, room temperature
For the gingersnap crust:
|1 pound gingersnaps
|454 grams gingersnaps
|½ cup granulated sugar
|118 ml OR 108 grams granulated sugar
|6 ounces unsalted butter, melted
|170 grams unsalted butter, melted
For the Oolong tea chocolate sauce:
|9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly
|255 grams bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
|½ cup strongly brewed Oolong tea, directions
|118 ml strongly brewed Oolong tea, directions follow
|2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
|30 ml heavy whipping cream
|2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
|57 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- To prepare the crust: In a food processor, finely grind the gingersnaps and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and melted butter and mix thoroughly with your hands until the mixture holds
together. Firmly press into the bottom and a half inch (1.3 cm) up the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) spring
form pan. Bake in a 350 °F (180 °C) (Gas Mark 4) oven for 7 minutes. Let cool at room temperature while you prepare the pumpkin cheesecake. Once the crust has cooled, wrap tightly in tinfoil and place in a baking dish to prepare a water bath.
- To prepare the pumpkin cheesecake filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium
speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugars. Continue to beat the mixture for 2
minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and sour cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the spices, vanilla extract
and orange zest. Beat for 1 minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time
and scrape down the bowl after each addition.
- Pour into the prepared crust and fill the baking dish with very hot water halfway up the spring form
pan. Bake the cheesecake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven, crack halfway and cool the cheesecake
for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and water bath and remove the tinfoil. Allow the cheesecake
to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
- When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, make the chocolate sauce: Take 4 Oolong tea bags and steep them in ½ cup (118 ml) boiling water for 20 minutes. Place the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Combine the heavy cream with the tea and microwave for 40 seconds. Pour over the chocolate and allow the mixture to set for 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter and continue to whisk until the mixture is very smooth.
- Pour the chocolate sauce over the cheesecake and allow the topping to set up for 45 minutes at room temperature.
- Run a paring knife around the rim of the cheesecake and remove the ring. Slide the cheesecake from the base onto a cutting board and slice into 12 servings.
The Platinum Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipes Collection, Volume 1 contains 25 detailed pumpkin cheesecake recipes with step-by-step instructions. Get it on Amazon.