Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Eggnog Cheesecake with Chai Spiced Whipped Cream


Eggnog Cheesecake with Chai Spiced Whipped Cream

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease with butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch cheesecake pan. Line with parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the cheesecake pan with a glass measuring cup. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Eggnog Cheesecake
Four 8-ounce packages full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour
3 large eggs, plus one egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 cup full fat eggnog, I used Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice eggnog *see note
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp rum extract (optional but yes it compliments the eggnog) 

*Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice eggnog is one of the highest rated eggnogs, and I can taste why! It's like melted vanilla ice cream, and it's a very thick consistency which is good for cheesecake. While I haven't tried it, I read the Southern Comfort "traditional" flavor is not very good so just be sure to use one you like to drink! 

Arrange the two racks inside the oven so that one is at the very bottom and one is in the middle. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and coat the inside of a 9″ springform pan with nonstick spray or grease with butter.

Cover the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper and set aside. The cheesecake shrinks so this will help prevent cracks as it cools and separates from the pan. 

In a bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on low speed until smooth and combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix again on low speed to catch any bits at the bottom.

Next, use electric kettle or fill a medium-sized pot with about 4 cups of water and place it over high heat. It should reach a boil by the time the batter is done. Also place a large roast pan on the bottom rack of the oven.

Back to the cheesecake – add the flour and nutmeg and mix on low speed until combined.

Mix in the eggs, one at a time, on low speed. Scrape down the bowl after the first two eggs, and again after the last egg and egg yolk.

Last, measure the eggnog and heavy cream in a measuring cup, mix in the rum extract and stir to combine. Then add this mixture to the cheesecake batter until combined. 

Scrape down the sides and bottom to ensure all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the crust and spread it smooth. It should completely cover the crust.

Now with the boiling water, open the oven door and pull out the bottom rack just enough for you to access the roast pan. Carefully pour the water into the roast pan and push the rack pack in. Quickly place the cheesecake on the middle rack, directly above the roast pan, and close the oven door. This will trap the steam and create a humid baking environment for the cheesecake – preventing it from drying out and cracking.

Bake for 90 minutes. The top of the cake should be golden brown and the center should only be very slightly jiggly. It should be firmer than jello. If its not done yet, lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes. I did this and the center came out cooked perfectly. 

When it’s done, turn the oven off and crack open the oven door. Let the cheesecake remain inside the oven for 30 minutes to an 1 hour, until the heat inside the oven is gradually gone.

Remove from oven and allow cheesecake to cool at room temperature for an hour. Then transfer to the refrigerator and let it chill uncovered for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Cover with plastic wrap after its cooled overnight. 

Chai Spiced Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)

Chill the bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for five to ten minutes. Place all the ingredients in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer and beat with whisk attachment on high until stiff peaks form. Pipe on top of cheesecake with a star tip. 

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