You can order one of Sarah Osborn Blue's exquisite holiday desserts to pick up in-store, but those of us not lucky enough to live in St. Louis have to take matters into our own kitchens. Niche Food Group's executive pastry chef brings the holiday magic with via a ready-to-be-cheesecaked chai spice blend—which you should keep on hand for the next time you want to add zing to a batch of oatmeal.
Chai Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote
Recipe adapted from Sarah Osborn Blue, Niche Food Group, St. Louis MO
Yield: One 8-inch cheesecake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes, plus refrigeration time
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes, plus refrigeration time
For the Crust:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
2¼ tablespoons milk powder
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2½ tablespoons heavy cream
For the Chai Spice Blend:
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
For the Cheesecake:
28 ounces cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chai spice blend
For the Cranberry Compote:
12 ounces cranberries
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray an 8-inch cheesecake pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
2. Make the crust: In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt. Melt the butter and cream in a small pan over low heat to combine.
3. Pour the butter mixture over the graham cracker mixture and stir until everything is combined. Add to the cheesecake pan and press down into an even layer. Bake for 8 minutes and let cool while making the filling.
4. Make the chai spice: Sift all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
5. Make the cheesecake: Lower the heat to 300°F. In a stand mixer on high with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until completely smooth. Scrape down the bowl and the paddle multiple times to ensure that there are no lumps in the cream cheese.
6. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and chai spice blend. This step ensures that the spices will distribute evenly throughout the cheesecake. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the sugar mixture, beating for about 30 seconds, until completely combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for another 30 seconds.
7. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl again, and mix for 30 more seconds. Pour the batter into the prebaked crust. Wrap the bottom of the cheesecake pan first in plastic wrap, then in foil, to prevent the water bath from leaking into the cake.
8. Place the wrapped cheesecake pan inside a roasting pan, and fill the roasting pan halfway with water.
9. Bake the cheesecake in the water bath for 40 to 50 minutes, until it doesn't jiggle when you shake the pan. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cool in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours).
10. Make the compote: Combine the cranberries, orange zest, orange juice and sugar in a pot over medium-low heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
11. Boil for 5 to 8 minutes; the cranberries should be broken down. Pour into a heat-safe bowl and let the compote cool completely before topping the cheesecake to serve.