#2: Chocolate Habanero Cheesecake

why this pie?

Ok, so it’s not a “pie”.  But it is darn tasty.  The inspiration for this creation comes from a restaurant in Seattle called Sonrisa.  Sonrisa serves the most amazing Chocolate Habanero Ice Cream.  It’s simply incredible.  The creaminess of the chocolate ice cream and the spice of the habanero complement each other perfectly.  I highly recommend going there for a cockatil and some frozen goodness.  They have a good happy hour, too!

The recipe for this week’s pie comes from a combination of a couple different recipes.   For the chocolate cheescake base, I used Chocolate Cheesecake (Courtesy of Nigella Lawson, FoodNetwork.com).  A couple of modifications:

  • The recipe calls for custard powder.  Substituting with corn starch works just fine.
  • No need for a springform pan.  (unless you’ve got one collecting dust in the back of your cabinet)
  • Don’t bother with the sauce.  A dollop of freshly made whipped cream provides a nice finishing touch.

To incorporate the habanero, I borrowed a piece of the recipe Habanero Lime Cheesecake (Courtesy of Helen Cook, FoodNetwork.com).  One habanero pepper is plenty.

Turn on kitchen or stove exhaust fan. Skewer and roast the habanero over an open flame (gas burner is fine) and set them to steam under a towel. When they are cool enough to handle, put on plastic gloves if desired. Peel and deseed habaneros, then pound in a mortar with 2 tablespoons of sugar until a coarse paste results.

(If you don’t have a gas stove, use your grill.  If you have a gas grill, take the grate off the grill and roast directly over the open flame.)  Incorporate this habanero paste into the rest of the filling just before pouring it into the crust.

the moment of truth

My husband was worried that 1 habanero wouldn’t be enough.   After some of my co-workers abandoned their slices because it was too spicy, I was glad that we didn’t add any more than 1 pepper!   Overall, I received great reviews of this creation.  Even with the spice-o-phobes.  Next time, I might even consider adding a little orange zest as an homage to Sonrisa.

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