Habanero Savory Cheese Cake

Nov 16, 2011 by

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. The very thought of this holiday prompts us to scribble away our mental menu items: Turkey, candied yams, pumpkin pie. Wait! What if you blew your guests away with twists on conventional dishes? Perhaps pan roasted sweet potatoes, spiced with toasted coriander and cumin seeds and what if cheese cake was served as an appetizer instead of desert. Go on! Be creative! Here’s your chance to demonstrate that tradition can be embraced without walking down that beaten path, after all, you’re more likely to be remembered for taking a risk than being a sheep.

Playing around with ideas, I thought it would be fun to make a cheese cake, to get saliva glands in full gear. Of course, I am not referring to a chocolate cheese cake on a graham cracker crust, but rather a habanero jelly swirl on a rosemary cracker crust. The heat and sweetness from the jelly, the creamy mélange of cheeses and the salty and earthy toned crust will peak your guests interest as they know that this is the start of a thanksgiving to remember.

Ingredients

1 packet of rosemary crackers crushed (1 ½ cups crushed)
1 stick softened butter
3 tbsp of corn starch
1 tsp salt
5oz sour cream
16 oz cream cheese (2 reg sized packs)
5 oz blue cheese
2 eggs
2 tablespoons habanero jelly (or any other chili jelly) for filling
Fresh cracked pepper
4 tablespoons habanero jelly to spread at the end

Method

Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Crush the crackers and butter and pack tightly against the base of a 9” spring form pan
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce temperature to 250 degrees

Cheese filling

Beat the salt, sour cream, cream cheese and corn starch, add the blue cheese and combine well
Add the eggs one at a time, combining thoroughly after each addition
Swirl in the habanero jelly and black pepper
Pour over the cooled crust
Bake for 1 hour
Remove and cool completely, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
Spread with habanero jelly

Pearls of Wisdom

Do not overcook the cheese cake or it will lose its creaminess. Once the cheese cake is set from the sides and wobbly in the middle, it is cooked through. It will continue to stiffen as it cools. Ensure the cheese cake is completely cool before spreading the layer of habanero jelly

Serving suggestions

Serve as an appetizer or as a main course side

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1 Comment

  1. Irit

    C'est une géniale idée. Love it.

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