CHIPOTLE CHERRY CHEESECAKE
About the Recipe
Cheesecake has always been one of my favorite desserts, but this spicy and sweet chipotle cherry sauce takes it up a Southwest notch!
2 cups ground ginger snap cookies or graham crackers
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
3 bricks (8oz. cream cheese), softened
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
16 ounces frozen, dark sweet cherries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tbsp. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons corn starch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. cold water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cover the outside of a 9" springform pan tightly with aluminum foil to prevent leaking. Place the pan in the center of a large roasting pan and set aside.
For the crust: In a blender or food processor, grind the cookies or graham crackers into a fine powder. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter until combined. Transfer the mixture to the bottom of the springform pan and press it down with your fingers until it is packed evenly.
For the cheesecake: Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese, egg whites, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and flour. Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute, until combined, smooth and creamy. Transfer the mixture to the springform pan and spread evenly over the crust.
Center the filled springform pan in the bottom of the roasting pan and place it in the center of the oven. Add enough warm water to the roasting pan (I use a tea kettle) to come up halfway around the springform pan. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees, uncovered for about 90 minutes, until the center is soft set, and just a bit wabbly. Remove from the oven, remove the springform pan from the roasting pan and cool the cheesecake in the springform pan on a wire rack.
For the topping: In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, brown sugar, cloves and chipotle pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly as the temperature comes up and the sugar melts. Reduce the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about another 5 minutes. Add the dissolved corn starch, stirring vigorously as the mixture thickens, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before topping the cake.
When the cheesecake is cooled, carefully remove the side panel of the springform pan (don't remove the bottom of the springform pan from the cheesecake). Transfer the cheesecake to a serving dish. Top the cake with the chipotle cherry topping, allowing it to run over the sides a bit. Refrigerate until ready to serve.