Make Ahead

Banana Chai Cheesecake

June 23, 2020
0 Ratings
Photo by Theresa Lemieux
Author Notes

When I was studying to become a tea sommelier, I kept trying to think of ways to use tea when cooking. There are no actual tea leaves in this recipe, but banana pairs beautifully with the spices that go in a chai tea latte, like cardamon and cloves.

The cheesecake batter is based on the banana version Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cordon Rose Cheesecake, but the addition of spices and notion to cook them sous vide is mine. If you want to use a pre-mixed spice, by all mean go ahead. But there is nothing like toasting and grinding your own for full flavour. —Theresa Lemieux

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 12-16
Ingredients
  • Chai Spice Mix
  • 15 pieces green cardamom pods
  • 6 pieces whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 piece whole star anise
  • Banana Chai Cheesecakes
  • 2 pkgs of cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons masala spice mix (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Chai Spice Mix
  2. Place all spices in a dry non-stick pan. Toast until fragrant and slightly brown.
  3. Let cool, then place smaller spices in a spice grinder. Pulse until only a few bigger fragments remain.
  4. Hand grate cinnamon stick and 1/2 nutmeg and place in the grinder. Pulse a few times.
  5. Sift into a small bowl and set aside.
  6. If you like, double the spices, then place half of the toasted pieces in a pot with 2 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes, then add 3 tea bags for chai. Add milk and sugar to taste.
  7. NOTE: If you don’t have a sous vide machine, you can absolutely make this in a cheesecake or springform pan in a water bath. Bake the cake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. Remove it to a rack and cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  1. Banana Chai Cheesecakes
  2. Preheat the water bath to 80°C (176° F) .
  3. Mash two very ripe bananas until you have approximately a cup. Add in the lemon juice, vanilla, grated ginger and salt. Smush it all together and set aside.
  4. Put the spice blend and the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and stir together. Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Beat in sour cream until incorporated, then the mashed banana.
  6. Cast the batter into mason jars—I use a ladle or a serving spoon to make sure I don’t spill on the edges of the jar. If you do, just wipe with a clean cloth—you want a good seal. Fill until just below the screw top. Put the lids on and turn them until fingertip tight
  7. Using tongs, lower the jars into the water, stacking them up if need be. Cook for 90 minutes, then remove and let cool to room temperature before putting them in the fridge. Chill for 6 hours or preferably overnight. They’ll last for two weeks in this state.
  8. To serve, open the jars, top with slices of banana, dollops of whipped cream and a pinch of masala spice to top it off. If you like crunch, add toasted ground pistachio or cashews, or crushed cookies. Pair with masala chai made with the same spice mix, or contrast the sweetness with a fortifying Assam or Ceylon black tea.
  9. If you don’t have a sous vide machine, you can absolutely make this in a cheesecake or springform pan in a water bath. Bake the cake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. Remove it to a rack and cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

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  • bjb0777
    bjb0777
  • Theresa Lemieux
    Theresa Lemieux

2 Reviews

bjb0777 June 28, 2020
Love the subtlety of the masala spice!!
 
Author Comment
Theresa L. June 28, 2020
So glad you enjoyed it!