Mini Chai Cheesecakes with Parle G Crusts and Salted Caramel
Total: 4 hr 25 min(includes steeping, cooling and chilling times)
Active: 50 min
Yield:12 mini cheesecakes
1 of 12 servings
Do you love chai tea and cheesecake? This is an absolutely dreamy combination of the two. And it's made even better with a crust of Parle G biscuits. (In India, the biscuits are typically dipped in tea — making this dessert's flavors a classic pairing.) Baked in muffin pans, these cupcake-sized cheesecakes can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
For the tea: Pour the boiling water over the tea in a small heatproof bowl and let it steep while you heat the cream.
Heat the cream in a pot over medium heat, stirring, until just boiling. Do not overheat as it might separate. Add the cream to the tea mixture and let it steep for at least 15 minutes.
For the crust: Pulse the biscuits in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the butter, granulated sugar and salt and mix well.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture into each cupcake liner and press into the bottom. (There will be some leftover crumbs; use them to sprinkle over the caramel sauce if desired, or on top of other desserts.) Bake until the crusts are light golden brown at the edges, about 7 minutes.
For the cheesecake: Beat together the cream cheese and jaggery in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until just mixed, less than 1 minute.
Strain the cream mixture and press on the tea leaves to release as much flavor as possible.
Add the infused cream, cardamom powder, ginger powder, vanilla and salt to the cream cheese mixture and beat until just combined. Mix in the eggs by hand one at a time, until just combined. (Take care not to overmix or the cheesecake may puff up and crack when baking.)
Pour the batter equally over the prepared crusts, filling each one almost to the top, and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake until the outside of the cakes are set but the centers are still slightly loose, about 20 minutes. Let the cheesecakes cool in the pan for 1 hour. It is normal for the cheesecakes to sink a little in the middle.
Gently remove the cakes with the muffin liner, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Remove the liners just before serving. Drizzle the Salted Chai Caramel Sauce over the cheesecakes. Store any leftover cheesecakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Salted Chai Caramel Sauce:
Yield:1 1/2 cups
Combine the tea, cardamom and ginger in a small heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the mixture and let it steep while you heat the cream.
Heat the cream in a pot over medium heat, stirring, until just boiling. Do not overheat as it might separate. Add the cream to the tea mixture, mix well and let it steep for 15 minutes.
Combine the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the pan but not stirring, until the mixture turns a medium amber, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch the mixture towards the end as it can go from a nice caramel to a burnt caramel very fast. Remove from the heat.
Strain the cream mixture and press on the tea leaves to release as much flavor as possible. Carefully add the cream mixture to the caramelized sugar. It is normal for the mixture to bubble like mad. Add the butter and salt and mix well until the butter is melted. Let cool completely, then transfer to jars and refrigerate up to a month.
For this recipe, use ordinary black tea that looks like crumbly instant coffee. You don’t want leaf tea as it won't release as much flavor and can get bitter very fast. Most teabags are made up of the crumbly black tea called CTC tea.
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