Recipes. Musings. Portland. Tucson. Fusing Cultures Through Cuisine
Thin Mint Cranberry Chutney Glazed Cheesecake
I can’t believe what I am about to do. I am about to take the world’s most popular cookie: the Thin Mint, and mess with it. Who would do such a thing?
I never thought I would see the day when I so clearly became my mother. Growing up, whenever she tried a new food she liked, she’d always say “How about we put some hot chilies in it?”
I’d scoff, roll my eyes and say “Maaaa- om! Why does everything have to be Indian?”
Now look at me – I sneak mustard seeds into everything, grind spice mixes into things that never asked for it, and put garam masala and Kashmiri red chili into a Thin Mint cheesecake.
In Indian cooking mint is so often paired with ginger and spices and while chocolate never makes in an appearance in Indian sweets, it really should. Chocolate and garam masala dance beautifully together, showcasing romantic interplays between sweet savory spices and bites of bittery creamy indulgences.
Despite my paralyzing pastry anxiety I was able to wing this little guy, which means: Hey – you’ll do fine!
That is if you follow one golden rule:
Golden Rule: Buy 2 boxes. One of the boxes is your “snacking box”. The other box, that’s your “crust box”. It’s a confusing, I know, but trust me, the cake doesn’t work if you decide to snack on your crust.
These cheesecakes are made in 6 small ramekins, but the recipe can be easily halved. *See notes below for adjustments. The small tartlets make it easy for you to hand them off to your friends and keep you from sleep eating 8 pounds of cheesecake at 2 am.
I would still suggest making the full portion of the chutney glaze, even for a half batch. Having extra chutney is a great problem to have. It pairs beautifully with a savory seared porkchop, is a delicious accompaniment to vanilla ice cream, and makes for a fantastic PB and J.
Thin Mint Cranberry Chutney Glaze Cheesecake
Make the glaze first:
Ginger-Kashmiri Chili spiked Chutney
Makes 3 cups:
Equipment needed: Blender
optional: fine mesh sieve
1 1/3 cup of sweetened dried cranberries
2/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili or Cayenne chili powder
2 oz ginger – grated
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (optional)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cup water
1)On Medium-low heat, gently melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add cranberries and toss for 1-2 minutes.
2) Add garam masala and chili powder and toss to incorporate. Add orange juice, sugar, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until reduced by 1/2
3) When the mixture begins to appear slightly “syrupy” Add ginger and orange zest. Secure the top of your blender with the lid and grab a kitchen towel to place over the top of the lid for added protection. Puree until completely smooth (2-3 minutes).
You can use the sauce as is – but I prefer to send mixture through a fine sieve/tea strainer to catch any fiberous bits of berries and ginger. Pour into jar and set aside.
Store in a mason jar – keep chilled. This chutney will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Ingredients for Cheesecake:
1 box of Thin Mints
6 tablespoons melted butter + 2 tablespoons melted butter (reserved for brushing the ramekins)
16 oz cream cheese ( Leave them out for an hour before to get them to room temp)
2/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons heavy cream
zest of 1 orange
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
6 – 4 inch ramekins
deep dish baking pan
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Making the Crusts:
1) Set a few cookies aside for garnish and add the rest of the cookies to a bag. Crush the cookies – smashing them gently with a cup. They can be a course texture. Add them to a bowl and pour in the 6 tablespoons of melted butter and toss to combine.
2) Prep the ramekins. Cut out rounds of parchment to fit the bottom of the remekin. I’ve heard a lot of folks talk about this fancy way of folding paper into a thin paper triangle then measuring it against the radius of the dish and cutting it to make the make the perfect shape, but honestly the folded paper airplane method gives me geometry nightmares. I just trace my ramekins on the parchment and cut around. Then I fold over a sheet of parchment into a layered square and use the round as a stencil for the rest of the rounds.
3) With the remaining tablespoons of melted butter lightly coat the bottom and sides of the ramekins. Add the parchment round to each ramekin and paint the top of the parchment with the melted butter as well. Distribute the crumbled cookies evenly to each ramekin.
4) Press the cookie mixture firmly into the ramekin using a flat-bottomed cup. Here I use a straight edged measuring cup. It may stick a little, so you might try putting down a plastic wrap barrier between the cup and the cookies.
5) Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Pull them out from the oven and let them cool completely.
Work on that filling!
In your stand mixer add sour cream and whip with the paddle attachment on low speed for about 20 seconds. Add cream cheese and mix slowly for another couple minutes then increase speed. It will look a little lumpy at first but keep whipping it, things will smooth out.
Add the eggs, vanilla, heavy cream and sugar, mix on low speed for a minute. Now take a minute to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and mix for 3-4 minutes on medium to medium high speed until the filling reaches an even and creamy consistency.
Is your ramekin up to speed? Let’s double check!
You may notice a few cookie crumbles stuck to the sides of your ramekins – if you want a perfectly nice and clean border on your cheesecake, then at this point you will want to carefully take a small paper towel to wipe off any little bits of cookie that may have stuck to the sides of the ramekin.
Either way you will want to make sure to dab the sides of the ramekin with a thin coating of melted butter again. This will ensure that your cheesecake releases nicely from the ramkein.
At this point you’re going to want to bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. And readjust your oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Ready to pour your batter?
Spoon about ½ cup of your cheesecake filling into the ramekin and then add a couple tablespoons of the cranberry chutney over the top.
Add another 1/3 to a ½ cup of the cheesecake filling to cover, ensuring that the filling doesn’t go above the inside lip/indent (You’ll want at least ¼ – ½ inch of room from the top.)
If you wish to create a swirl, you can drizzle another tablespoon over the top and with a thin knife draw circles into the custard (just make sure not to pierce the bottom crust).
You can also make silly little shapes – or a heart for your valentine!
Tap the ramekins gently to remove any air bubbles.
Preparing the hot water bath:
Now position the cheesecakes on the baking dish set at least a couple inches apart from one another. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to come halfway up the ramkeins, making sure not to splash any water into your cheesecakes.
Place in middle rack of your oven and bake for between 40-50 minutes. You will want to check your cheesecakes at the 40 minute mark. Or if you’re a jerk like me, you can leave the house and put your amazing roommate in charge of monitoring your cheesecakes, and if he’s anything like mine, they’ll be absolutely perfect.
If you don’t have an amazing roommate that picks up your culinary slack then what you’re going to want to look for is an inner circle of the cheesecake to be just slightly loose and the outer circle to be set. If it’s too giggly, check it again in five minutes. If your custard looks about right, turn off your oven, but leave the cheesecakes in there for a bit. You will want to prop open your oven door just slightly to slowly cool down the cheesecake.
The slow cool down helps to ensure a clean, smooth top, without cracks. You’ll want to cool these guys in the oven for at least an hour. If you want to be extra safe you can prop a wooden spoon in between the oven the door and the oven to keep it cooling evenly.
After a couple hours, your cheesecake will be ready to come out of the oven. Let them rest on the counter for another 20 minutes or so. You will start to notice them pulling away from the sides.
When they get cool to the touch, take a pairing knife (if you’ve ever bought a cheap knife set with a lousy good for nothing pairing knife, they are good for something! Dislodging ramekin cheesecakes!).
Gently cut around the edges of the cheesecake to dislodge the cakes from the ramekin. Repeat with all six and then pop the cakes back into the freezer for another 5-7 minutes.
Grab a 8-inch sheet of parchment paper and place it on a plastic or wooden cutting board and then run your pairing knife along the sides of the ramekin once more to dislodge. Turn the ramekins upside down on the parchment paper, and gently tap tap the ramekin and lift off. Remove the parchment circle if it’s stuck to the crust and then fold the parchment over the cheesecake and then flip back over so that you cheesecake is now facing right side up.
Drizzle a few tablespoons of cranberry chutney glaze on a serving plate and garnish with a full cookie, or crush thin mints over the top – and because they’re thin mints, you’re actually allowed to garnish this dessert with mint, without garnishing lies!