Right now, though, I'm in a loving phase.
It might last a while because I've come out of a looong, chai-free spell.
I gave it up during pregnancy. Nothing to do with the caffeine or exotic spices. No, it was the fragrance. It nauseated me. Anything perfumed did, including my own deodorised body. Tricky that. (Overshare??)
And olfactory memories are so intense that it took me a while to shake off those scent-triggers.
But, at last I'm cured (and plan to stay that way!)
So, let's celebrate with a particularly deliciously decadent chai share.
Recipe by Tea, Cake and Create
Grease a 20-24cm round springform pan
Tip - turn the base of the springform pan upside down before clipping in place - it makes removing the cheesecake easier.
300g butter biscuits , crushed
100g flaked almonds (plus extra for garnishing)
120g melted butter
Mix the ingredients together and press into the base of a round springform cake pan.
Cover with cling wrap and place in the freezer for 30min.
Preheat the oven to 150'C
320g white chocolate
500g (2x250g tubs) cream cheese at room temperature
250ml cream (for a lighter texture substitute with buttermilk)
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg}
Melt the chocolate. Stir in the chai spices and set aside to cool a little.
Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar together until smooth.
With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time; scrape down the bowl between additions.
Pour in the cream and vanilla.
Pour the cooled chocolate and chai spices into the mixture. Beat briefly.
Pour onto the chilled base.
Bake in a water bath* for approx.1 hour at 150'C. Leave in the oven, with the door slightly ajar, to cool. (See comments below on how to know when a cheesecake is cooked).
* For the water bath, use a roasting pan at least 4-5 cm larger than the springform pan with enough boiling water in it to come a couple of centimetres up the side of the springform pan.
White chocolate ganache.
150g white chocolate
50ml cream (35-40%fat content)
Melt the cream and chocolate together in the microwave (in 30sec bursts, stirring in between) or in a double boiler.
Pour over the top of the cheesecake.
Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Chill for 4 hours or overnight before serving.