Monday, September 7, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Cheese Cake

Last summer my husband bought a six pack of jalapeno pepper plants when we really needed only one plant, so we had a lot of peppers. I left the pepper on the plants until they turned red thinking I would dry them, but I never got that far. As fate would have it I saw this recipe on Emeril's show and knew I had to make it. This cheese cake is light and creamy with a hint of heat to it. Truly exceptional. The cheese cake  would be great without the addition of peppers.  Simply up the vanilla and add some citrus peel or espresso and you are good to go.
The original recipe had you juliann the peppers, candy then scatter them on top of the crust under the cake batter. They made the crust soggy, the texture of the pepper wasn't great and all of the spice was concentrated in the bottom of the cheese cake. Since we liked the sweet and spicy combination I made the following change to the recipe. I candied the jalapenos, but I pureed them and swirled them in the batter. This gave us the spicy flavor we liked and eliminated the soggy crust. Needless to say, this year it was me who picked out the six pack of pepper plants.

This recipe is a good fit for Kitchen Chronicles Think Spice- Think Red Chillies  the famous "Think Spice" event which was started by Sunita Bhuyan of .Sunita's World

Sweet and Spicy Cheese Cake


3 Tbs butter
1 package graham crackers, crushed

Combine butter and cracker crumbs and press into a 9 inch spring form pan. Wrap the outside and bottom of the pan in a large piece of foil. (This is to prevent water from seeping through during the baking.)

Jalapeno puree

10 red jalapenos
1 cup water
1cup sugar

Slice open the jalapenos and remove seeds and membranes. In a pan combine the sugar, water and jalapenos. Bring to a boil then, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes to candy the peppers. Reserve ½ cup of syrup from peppers. Puree the pepper with the remaining syrup in a food process or blender. Push the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the skins. Set a side to cool.


2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup jalapeno syrup

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into prepared crust. Smooth the top and spoon the jalapeno puree in a heavy drizzle over the cake surface. With a knife swirl the puree throughout the batter.

Bake in a water bath. Place cheese cake in a large pan; to the pan add hot water to come ½ way up the side of the spring form pan. Bake in a 325 oven about one hour. The center of the cheese cake should jiggle slightly when done. Remove from water bath and cool. When cool to touch refrigerate 6 hours or over night before serving.