Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Pear Cardamom Cheesecake


The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Daring Bakers time again! I missed last month, but I'm back - and I got cheesecake! This month, we were asked to get as creative as we wished, with a basic baked cheesecake recipe. Cheesecake is one of those things that I don't mind, but I never make. Or choose, for that matter - there's usually something else that I want more, when it comes right down to it.

So, I was a little bit hesitant.. and as usual when I am hesitant, I don't make a full recipe. I didn't really have an occasion to serve it, and I didn't want to end up throwing half, so I simply cut the recipe in third which made four individual cheescake in ramekins. Perfect! And it came out really, really tasty, too! A little bit cracked on top, probably because I didn't take the time to properly let it cool in the oven, and since I accidentally used low-fat cream cheese, it wasn't as smooth as I imagined it would have been. But who cares? It was still excellent.

For my flavor combination, I wanted to use up a bunch of pears that were starting to look a bit sad in the fruit bowl, and my favorite spice to use with pears is cardamom. And vanilla. So - that's what I did. I omitted the lemon in the basic recipe since I thought that might clash just a bit, and instead upped the vanilla a little. For the full recipe, see Jenny's blog. This is an adaption, and the way I actually used it.

Pear Cardamom Cheesecake
4 individual sized ramekins

60 g digestive biscuits
40 g melted butter
1/2 tbsp sugar
drop of vanilla extract

200 g cream cheese
65 g sugar
1 large egg
80 ml heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Poached pears:
2 firm but ripe pears
100 ml water
100 ml sugar
1/2 lemon, the juice of

Begin with the pears. Peel and cut into dice. Mix water, sugar and lemon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the pears, and simmer until soft - 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pears cool in the syrup. This keeps well in the fridge, if you don't use up all of it.

Now for the crust. Finely crush the biscuits and mix with melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Press into the bottoms of four ramekins.

Beat the cream cheese with the sugar. Mix in the egg and the cream. Stir in vanilla and cardamom and beat everything until well mixed.

Place a few poached pear dice on top of the crust. Top with the cheese mixture, and make sure you divide it evenly between the ramekins.

Place all the ramekins in a small roasting pan. Add boiling water to the pan, so that the water level goes about half way up the sides of the ramekins. Put in the oven at 175°C and bake for about 25 minutes.

Turn the oven off, and open the door slightly. (I propped it open with a wooden spoon.) Leave to cool for an hour, then transfer to the fridge and leave them there overnight.

Serve with some powdered sugar on top, if desired.


You can find the recipe here, the blogroll here, and the discussion forums - open to everyone! - here.

Recipe in Swedish:
Cheesecake med päron och kardemumma


glamah16 said...

I love that flavor combo and serving in the ramekins. Gives us just what we need without waste.

Unknown said...

Next time I make cheesecake I'll have to try doing it in ramekins. One whole cake is just too much!

Great idea.

Suzana Parreira said...

Pear & Cardamon can't go wrong. This looks amazingly good, Anne.

Anonymous said...

Oh I bet this was amazing, so pretty.

Sara said...

YUM! I love the idea of cheesecake with pear and cardamom...sounds super delicious! :)

Laura said...

I love cardamom! Thanks for the inspiration, and beautiful post too.

Unknown said...

Sounds wonderful! The combo of pear and cardamom is just great.

Jude said...

Mmm pears and cardamom. So tempted to make these right now. Love the recipe for 4 individual servings.

Dragon said...

Your cheesecake is lovely. Great job on this month's challenge.

Heather said...

Beautifully done, you guys make me want to try them in the ramekins for sure!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

pear and cardomom - sounds absolutely d'lish!

Kevin said...

Brilliant! I love using both cardamom and coriander seed in fruit desserts, but seldom cook with pears. Nevertheless, the moment I saw the title I could taste the combo.

Jeanne said...

You are so right - pears & cardamom are a match made in heaven. LOVE these little ramekin cheesecakes - well done you Daring Baker you!

mary said...

I never would've thought to put pears in a cheesecake. Sounds delicious though - pears and cardamon are indeed wonderful together.

Unknown said...

I've looked through a lot of this month's DB challenge participants, and this has got to be the best sounding flavor combination! Bravo!

ice tea: sugar high said...

That is simply stunning! love the flavour combo =)

Chantal said...

Those little ramekins are adorable

Unknown said...

I thought the cheesecake I made in ramekins seemed creamer than the larger one I made anyway. This sounds so delicious, and cardamom is my favorite spice. Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker's Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Dolores said...

I love the liberties you've taken with this month's challenge. I'm so going to try this approach when pears are plentiful next fall. Thanks for sharing