Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Chai-Spiced Cheesecake with Rhubarb Compote {recipe}

Any excuse to make a dessert and I am there, beaters in hand, rearing to go. I struggle with the idea though of 'a signature dish'. I get bored making the same thing too often. One of the things that excites me about baking is the opportunity to play and come up with new ideas. I also like to use my dessertee (receiver of dessert) as inspiration. The dessertee in this case was a tea drinker, a chai-loving vegetarian who I happen to know loves cheesecake. Naturally, a chai-spice cheescake had to happen! But it needed to be gelatin-free and I prefer the texture of a no-bake cheesecake. I couldn't find a recipe I liked that met these criteria so I made this up using inspiration from Nigella's no-bake Nutella Cheesecake and Donna Hay's Chai-Spiced Cheesecake Tarts

You will need:
For the base:
250g gingernut biscuits
75g unsalted butter, softened
30g pecans, lightly toasted

For the cheesecake:
500g cream cheese, softened
300mL double cream
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (75g)
1 vanilla bean (after scraping the seeds, reserve the bean case for the compote)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed)
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch nutmeg

For the Rhubarb compote:
3 long stalks of rhubarb (or four shorter ones), chopped into 4cm lengths
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp orange zest
Juice of half an orange
1 star anise
Vanilla pod- just the casing left over from the cheesecake

Pulse the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs then add pecans and butter and continue pulsing the mixture until it looks like moist sand (with some slightly larger nutty bits).

Press into the based of a lined spring form tin (I used 22cm but 20cm would be fine) and refrigerate.

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Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and use the back of the knife to scrap the seeds.

Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla seeds together until combined and fluffy then add cream, juice and spices and beat until combined (don't beat for too long or your cream will become buttery)

Pour cheesecake mixture over prepared based and chill (four hours will do the job but the flavour develops over time so I prefer to make this the day before it's required).

chai-spice cheesecake recipe gelatine-free-vegetarian

For the compote:
Chuck all the compote ingredients into a small saucepan and cook over a low to medium heat stirring occasionally, until rhubarb has softened and broken down. Remove star anise and vanilla bean before chilling the compote.

When serving, carefully remove the sides of the springform tin (the lining helps with this) and cut cheesecake into generous wedges before topping with a dollop of compote. Go all out and whack some icecream on the side.
chai-spice cheesecake with rhubarb compote recipe gelatin-free

chai-spice cheesecake with rhubarb compote no-bake recipe
Spicy, creamy, tangy, delicious.


  1. Yum! I love everything about this, the gingernut base, the chai spice flavours and gorgeous rhubarb compote, this looks lovely :) I too love chai, it's so cosy!

  2. Yes, once again I'm playing catch up and I've been dying to read this one for AGES. Chai is one of my absolute favourite things and this looks divine. You had me at a pecan and ginger nut base to be honest.
    M x


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