Gingerbread Cheesecake

I realized as I was looking over my blog posts that I have very few sweets on here.  This is to help alleviate this travesty.   I have had this recipe for years.  I think my Mom got it from a magazine and then gave it to me.  I have made it 5-6 times and it is always a huge hit.  I dont make it often cause I would eat it all by myself.  I adore anything with molasses, ginger or cinnamon.. and this has all three!!  I think cheesecake is heaven on earth anyway but this is a crossing of two forms of greatness.

Making cheesecake can be tricky.  You can over cook it and it is dry, under cook it and it is mucky (Robs favorite word, mushy and yucky mixed), or have it crack or the crust be too crumbly.  I personally dont really need much crust but Rob and the kids love crust.   For me a dusting to keep it from sticking to the pan and we are good.  Rob especially, want the crust almost as thick as the cheesecake portion. 

There are some tricks to helping with the cracking issue.  Here is what I have learned and they work for me everytime.  When you are done mixing the batter, beat the bowl on the counter to bring up any air bubbles, hence using metal bowls.  Bake at 300, it may take a bit longer but the cake sets better.  When it is done, dont take it out of the oven, turn the oven off, open the door partly and let is stay in the oven for 40 minutes so that it cools slower.    Now that being said, who knows if these are all the reason why my cheesecakes dont crack but it works for me.  HAHA 

As you know if this isnt your first time reading my blog, I am on Weight Watchers.  And I love dessert.  And they dont mix well.  Which sucks.  BUT being the good girl I am, I put it in the recipe builder on and cringed the entire time.  For 1/16th of a 10 inch cake, it was 6 points.  Which isnt bad.  I used low fat cream cheese and a slight change in the crust to bring the points down but for the most part I left it as is.  If you do any tweaking (which you know I am a strong advocator for) let me know of your result in a comment!   This originally had a gingersnap crust (which is heavenly) but in an attempt to make it a bit healthier, I changed it up.

yield: 1 10 inch cheesecake   serving 1/16th    WW points  6
16 saltine crackers
4 whole graham crackers (try flavored if you want)
3 tbps sugar
1/4 cup butter
24 oz cream cheese at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup molasses

Cast of Characters

First preaheat your oven to 350.  In a food processor, grind up your crackers into fine crumbs.  I use saltines because they are lower in points and less sugar then graham crackers. They cut down on the intense sweetness.  Rob, the crust king, even likes it this way.

Put them in a bowl with the 3 tbsp sugar.  Melt your butter and pour into the cracker and sugar mixture. 

Mix the butter in thoroughly. 

Press into a 10 inch springform pan, making sure you go up over the lip of the springform and bake for 15 minutes in the 350 degree oven.

When the crust comes out turn the oven down to 300.  Take the 24 oz of cream cheese and the 2/3 cup of sugar and put it in your kitchenaid, or with a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for about 30-45 seconds stopping once to scrape down the sides.

Add the eggs one a time, mixing for about 10-15 seconds between.

Add the flour, spices and the molasses. 
Mix for about 30 seconds more, scraping down sides.

One last final mix to make sure you are fully combined, pound on the counter until bubbles are released and then scrape into the pan.

Smooth the top and put in the oven on the middle rack.  I know alot of people like to foil wrap it and put it in water.  I have never had luck with that and found this works just fine. 

Bake for about 50 minutes and check for done ness.  I have no particular way to explain how I know it is done other then the center is not giggly and it looks dull rather than shiny and doesnt feel spongy when touched lightly.  Once you have determined it is done, turn off the oven, prop open the oven a good 5-6 inches and leave in for 40 minutes to an hour.
Run the knife around the edge and losen the pan.  Take off the ring and you can present this way. 

Then garnish as you like.   I like strawberries with just about everything.

Trying to take this picture made me realize how badly I need a new camera.  I dropped it yesterday, for like the 10th time and this was the best of the 9 pictures I took. 

But about the cheesecake…… 1 1/16 is not enough of this yumminess but it is also just the right amount.  This is incredibly rich and flavorful.  It is sweet and has the bite of the ginger and molasses without being too sweet.  I served this when Rob and Nik were having the guys over and it was a huge hit.   It has always been a hit in this house so I shouldnt have been surprised that it went quickly.

Happy Baking!!