What’s better than chai? Whiskey in your chai. What’s better than whiskey and chai? Whiskey chai cheesecake, that’s what. A quick Google search for a recipe turned up empty, so I set out to create my own — and I’m happy to say, with delicious results.
I used an eggnog cheesecake recipe as a base. The chai and whiskey replaced the liquid in the eggnog, but would that be enough for the chai to come through?
Round one of testing proved my concern correct. The whiskey taste was evident, but the chai concentrate by itself wasn’t enough to get the flavor I wanted. So, to get more of that chai flavor, I added chai spices (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper) to the mixture. Easy!
The next challenge was the crust. Chai hits a harmonious balance between sweet and spicy. A strictly chocolate crust wouldn’t be enough to complement that combo, and a graham cracker crust would be a little lackluster, too.
Instead, I blended chocolate cookie and graham cracker crumbs with black tea, ginger, cardamom and a little sugar to hit all the flavor notes I felt the filling called for. I melted butter straight into a springform pan wrapped in foil, and then mixed the crust right in the pan, I patted it down evenly after it was all combined.
To make the filling, use a mixer on low to beat everything together, starting with just cream cheese, then add all the other custard ingredients except the eggs. For a kid-friendly chai cheesecake, just swap the whiskey for more chai tea concentrate. After the ingredients are combined, add the eggs and mix until smooth.
Fill a separate pan with about an inch of water and put it on the bottom rack of the oven while the cheesecake cooks. This will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking.