Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gingerbread and Pear Cheesecake


Where I work we tend to talk about food A LOT!!! Night shift can be boring and food is a hot topic. This week there was an intense and at times rather heated discussion that debated the superiority of gingerbread over cheesecake so I offered to bring a combination of both to our shared Friday night dinner. 
I give you Gingerbread Cheesecake.
I decided I didn’t want a hard base as in gingerbread man hard I was thinking of the more cake type of gingerbread. The taste combination of pears, macadamias and ginger is a match made in heaven if ever there was one. Plus I was making it so I could do what I wanted.

I don't get paid to advertise or promote anyones products but I am going to give Buderims Glace Ginger a big thumbs up. Made and grown in Australia it is delicious. Buderim in Queensland has been the home of commercially grown ginger since before World War 1. The Buderim Ginger Growers Cooperative formed during the 2nd World War with a grand total of 25 pounds of working capital to start the 5 farmers on the road to their current role in supplying ginger to Australia and exporting to 17 different countries.

Gingerbread and Pear Cheesecake.


125 grams ½ cup butter cut into smallish cubes
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
3 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon Buderim glace ginger finely chopped
185mls/¾ cup boiling water

75 g melted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
4 pears peeled, cored and quartered then sliced

1 ½ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon bi-carb (baking) soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup macadamias chopped
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake layer

1 tablespoon gelatine
½ cup boiling water
500 g cream cheese – allow the cream cheese to return to room temperature before use.
1 can condensed milk
Juice of 1 lemon

Line a 25 x 30 cm lamington tin with bake paper.
Preheat oven to 180° C.

Combine the butter, sugar, syrup, spices and ginger in a pan and pour over the boiling water. Stir to melt the butter and sugar. If it doesn’t melt together completely then heat the pot over a low heat until it does.
Leave to cool.

While the mixture is cooling peel, quarter, core and slice the pears.

Pour the melted butter into a 25cm x 30cm baking tin lined with bake paper.                 
Sprinkle the brown sugar over evenly.
Lay the slices of pear over the butter/sugar mixture.
Set the tray aside.

Sift the plain flour, soda and baking powder together.

Into the pot of sugar/butter/syrup and spices put the nuts, sifted dry ingredients, vanilla and the egg.
Mix it together with a spoon until it is smooth and then pour it gently over the top of the sliced pear.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Lay another piece of bake paper over the top and turn the cake out onto it. Place on a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
Once the cake layer is cool put it back into the tin on the piece of bake paper.

Sprinkle the gelatine over the boiling water and stir it until it dissolves.
Combine the cream cheese, condensed milk and lemon juice in a bowl and mix until it is smooth.
Add the gelatine and water and mix again until it is smooth.
Pour evenly over the top of the cake layer.
Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the cheesecake layer to set.

It is better to leave the cheesecake at least overnight to allow the flavours of the gingerbread to develop.

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