Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pear Caramel Tea Infused Cheesecake

Sometimes my dessert inspiration comes from tea. I'm a huge fan of tea and have used it in my baking *numerous* times! It opens up a world of new flavors! I have such a great time making Tea Infused Cheesecakes and it's so exciting when I walk into a store like Spice and Tea Exchange and discover a new flavor (this excitement is also over the spices in the store!). On a recent trip to the Spice and Tea Exchange here in Tampa, I found Pear Caramel Tea - ONE sniff and I knew I had to make dessert with it!
Without further ado, here is the recipe for my most recent cheesecake creation!

Pear Caramel Tea Infused Cheesecake by Melisa Taylor.

Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan.

1 to 1 1/4 cups ground Graham Cracker Crumbs
4-5 tablespoons of butter (melted)
2-3 tsp of tea (ground to a powder in magic bullet)

Pear Caramel Tea Simple Syrup:
1 tbsp loose tea (wrap up in a cheesecloth bundle, or throw in the water and strain out after boiling and steeping)
16 ounces water
1 cup of sugar

-bring to boil until sugar dissolves and the syrup starts to coat the back of the spoon. Take off heat, let cool. Syrup will thicken. Depending on how long you cook the syrup, it will get really thick!

3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/4 cup room temp Pear Caramel Tea simple syrup
1 tsp powdered tea (approximate) - not totally necessary, but I like to add it for extra flavor.
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Add powdered earl grey tea to graham cracker crumbs, melt butter, add butter to crumbs. Mix up and press into bottom of prepared springform pan. I like to use a cup to press crumbs to the bottom of the pan.
Bake crust for about 7 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool.

Mix cream cheese, sugar and salt on high speed until it becomes shiny and well combined. Add powdered tea and mix to combine. Add Tea Simple Syrup and vanilla extract, mix to combine. Add eggs one at a time and mix to combine on low speed (so you don’t incorporate too much air in to mix).

Tap bowl of cheesecake batter on counter to release air bubbles. Pour batter into pan with cooled crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Lower oven temp to 300 degrees. Continue to bake for another 15-30 minutes, or until cheesecake is set a couple inches along the outside edge and slightly jiggly in center. Also, batter should be at least 150 degrees fahrenheit. Remove from oven. Slide flexible knife along edges of pan to release cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool on rack about an hour or more, until it comes to room temp. Put in fridge, let cool 6-8 hours or overnight. Remove edge of pan and serve!
You can use some of the simple syrup for serving with the cheesecake!

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