Earl Grey cheesecake is the new favorite cheesecake in our farmhouse these days. With its luscious fragrance that fills the whole house while it’s baking to its creamy texture and delicate flavor, we are smitten.
There are many wonderful cheesecake recipes in this world, like this lovely Minty Chocolate Chip Cheesecake or these delectable Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, but for some reason this Earl Grey Cheesecake stands out in my family.
Perhaps because it’s not too sweet, so it can be eaten without an accompanying sugar rush, or maybe it’s the ginger cookie crust that provides a wonderful burst of ginger mingling with the smooth cream cheese. Whatever the reason, it’s a lovely dessert to savor with a steaming cup of special tea such as Chocolate Hazelnut tea with its rich, nutty flavor that goes so well with something sweet and creamy, or buttery and nutty Coconut Macaron toasted coconut tea.
Create a Cookie Base
While it’s traditional to use graham cracker crumbs as the base for cheesecakes, I like to mix things up a bit by swapping them out for cookies with a unique flavor. As long as they’re crunchy, any cookie can make a great cheesecake base. A dark chocolate cookie is delicious with a simple vanilla cheesecake, while macadamia nut cookies are splendid for a fruity mango cheesecake or a coconut one. Vanilla cookies are great for a caramel cheesecake, while milk chocolate ones are lovely for a strawberry cheesecake.
For this Earl Grey cheesecake, I chose ginger cookies for the base. The strong ginger flavor could overwhelm some cheesecakes, but it only enhances the flavor of this one. I don’t like a sticky sweet base, so I mixed the ginger cookie crumbs with melted butter and only a tablespoon of brown sugar to give it a bit of crunch after baking.
Smaller is Better
Cheesecakes run the gamut from short to towering, and while it’s fun to indulge in a massive wedge of cheesecake now and then, I prefer my cheesecakes shorter for everyday fare. I also like to make them in small round springform pans so each one can be easily shared with a spouse needing an afternoon pick-me-up or a dear friend popping in for a visit. Cheesecake can fill you up awfully fast, but by making them shorter and smaller, they are delightful treats that can be enjoyed without stuffing you to the gills.
Before I start the recipe, I like to pour just-boiled water over the Earl Grey creme tea leaves so it has time to get good and strong before adding to the cream cheese. It also gives it a chance to cool so it doesn’t melt the cream cheese when you stir it in. Simply strain the tea before adding it to the cake mixture or, if you like little flecks throughout your cheesecake, leave the tea leaves in. Just be sure to mix it well so they’re spread evenly.
Then bake, chill, and garnish simply before serving proudly to your loves.
Earl Grey Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cups ginger cookies, crushed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup strong Earl Grey creme tea
- 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 325 F.
In small bowl, mix together ginger cookie crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Press into bottom and part way up the sides of a round 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
In mixing bowl with tall sides, mix together cream cheese, sugar, tea, and eggs until smooth. Pour into pan and shake gently to settle and smooth.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is almost set.
Chill 3-4 hours until ready to serve.