Green Tea Cheesecake

So the other night I had a movie night with some friends and was deciding what sort of dessert to make.  Originally I had been planning to make an ice cream, but eventually I decided to instead turn my friends’ favorite ice cream flavor, green tea, into a cheesecake. They usually top it with pistachios and honey, and so I did, too, and the results were wonderful!  It really tastes just like green tea ice cream!

Green Tea Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 package of graham crackers (or about one cup of crumbs)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Filling

  • Four 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons matcha powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1  cup sour cream

Topping

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup honey

You’ll also need a springform pan in which to bake the cheesecake and an oven for baking

Steps

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grind the graham crackers into crumbs, and then combine with the sugar and melted butter.  Then, press the mixture into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan, and bake for 6 minutes.  (Spreading it into the springform pan is annoying.  I recommend using long, quick strokes of a spoon to help spread it out.)

If your pistachios are unshelled, you should probably do that first.  Make sure they’re unsalted.  If they taste salty, rinse them off a bit in water and you should be good to go.  Crack all the eggs into a single container, as well.  Then, warm the cream cheese a bit (I use a few seconds in the microwave), and then mix it with the sugar, flour, matcha, and vanilla until well-blended.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing at low speed, just until blended.  Next, add the sour cream, and do the same.  At this point, I add some green and yellow food coloring for the right coloring.  Color and appearance in general have a large placebo effect upon our taste, so I generally try to take advantage of that.  It’s not necessary, though.

Once it’s smooth, pour the mixture over the crust, and bake for 65 to 70 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  If unsure whether the center is cooked, insert a toothpick or chopstick.  If it’s done, it should come out relatively clean.  When the cheesecake is cooked, it should appear set around 2 1/2″ in from the edge.

Let cool on a wire rack with an inverted cover, to reduce its cooling speed.  Otherwise, the surface may fissure.  Refrigerate for four hours or overnight.

Now, if you want, you can eat it as is, and it’ll taste great.

If you want to add the topping, however, put the honey and shelled pistachios into a food processor and blend, the finer the better.  If the resulting mixture is too thick to spread, I find that adding some whipped cream or other topping works to thin it out enough to be usable.  Once it’s at the desired consistency, spread it over the cheesecake after the cheesecake has cooled down enough, and serve.  It’s a really delicious cheesecake!  The green tea flavor is pleasantly strong, too.  Mess around with the amount of matcha if you prefer your green tea flavoring weaker or stronger.  If you can’t find matcha, try an Asian supermarket or a tea store.  It’s pretty much just ground up tea leaves, so it’s not that difficult to find.  Enjoy!

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