Key Lime Habanero Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy Nadia G
Show: The Perfect 3 Episode: Cheesecake
TOTAL TIME: 14 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 13 hr
Cook: 1 hr
 
YIELD: 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • Crust
  • 30 chocolate wafers (enough to make 1 1/2 cups of chocolate crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • Coulis/ Sauce
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • Filling
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup key lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
    • 1/2 habanero pepper, minced, seeds removed*
    • 2 cups whipped cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
    • *Cook's Note: Use gloves to remove seeds from habanero pepper
    • Meringues
    • 5 egg whites
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    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    To make the crust: Put all the chocolate wafers in a resealable bag and then crush them into fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium mixing bowl and add the melted unsalted butter, then mix to incorporate. Mold the crumb crust into the bottom of a springform pan, about 1/4-inch thick. Bring it up the sides a little bit, about a 1/2-inch. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool on counter.

    To make the coulis/syrup: Heat a pot over medium heat. Pour in the water, sugar and bring to a boil. Add the key lime juice and candied hibiscus flowers, stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly reduced.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    To make the cheesecake filling: In a large bowl add the egg yolks, brown sugar, key lime juice, lime zest, and habanero pepper and whisk together. Add the cream cheese and mascarpone then mix with electric beater for another 15 seconds. Set aside.

    To make the meringues: Whip the egg whites together with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and white vinegar. Delicately fold this meringue into the cheesecake mixture. Pour evenly into the springform pan, over the chocolate crust.

    Place 2 layers of wide aluminum foil into a large roasting pan. Put the cake in the middle of the foil. Bring the foil up the sides to create a seal, do not cover cake. Pour water into the roasting pan, half way up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes depending on your oven. Allow the cake to cool completely on the countertop, then refrigerate overnight. Serve each slice of this cheesecake drizzled with a tablespoon or 2 of key lime and hibiscus coulis/syrup.

    Photo reprinted with permission from Nadia G.'s Bitchin' Kitchen: Cookin' For Trouble by Nadia G., copyright (c) 2011. Published by Ballantine Books.

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    4

    Newest Ratings and Reviews

    Read all 7 reviews

    • on March 24, 2013

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      For me, the sauce was what made this cake worthwhile. I used dried cherries, instead of hibiscus flowers. I used a whole habanero (seeded and de-veined, but I still couldn't detect a hint of heat. My crust did't turn out very well because the foil seal was not intact by the time I pulled it out of the oven (my fault. Overall it was an OK recipe.

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    • on November 25, 2012

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      I absolutely love this cheesecake!!! I couldnt find habinaros so i used vanilla. Ive made this cake 3 or 4 times. Even substituting different flavored cookies and filling this cake is always a hit!!! Easy to make... Everyone wants to know the recipe. Nadia, you're bitchen! I live in high altitude so I needed to use cream of tartar to stabilize the meringues.

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    • on November 17, 2012

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      This is a GREAT combination and adaptable as well. We've used it for mini-portions (Think catering and group events as well as a special for our guests - the heat is a delightful surprise!

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