Mango Matcha Cheesecake Day

In honor of national cheesecake day this Friday the 30th, I present my favorite creamy flavor pairing: mango and green tea. But before we get to the specifics, our first order of business is to settle on a base cheesecake recipe.

I'm a super fan of a recipe that is highly adaptable, one that can take the pressure of infinite flavor combinations. This base cheesecake recipe can do that for you. Once you have the plain batter, you can mix and match with the addition of purees or powders or melted chocolates or caramel. Just get yourself a squeeze bottle, a toothpick and a bib because this can get messy.

This is a version of a recipe that you can find in My Life from Scratch AKA Confections of a Closet Master Baker. For the espresso version in the book, go buy yourself a copy already.  Sheesh.

Mango Matcha Cheesecake

Makes one 10" cheesecake

For the crust

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Crust Procedure

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and massage the butter into the flour with your fingers. Continue working the butter into the flour until you create a mixture that resembles corn meal. Pat the dough into a 10" cake ring set upon a sheetpan lined with parchment paper or a spring form that's been liberally sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 325º for 20 minutes or until the dough is ever so slightly golden brown. Set aside and make the cheesecake batter. Reduce the oven temperature to 275º.

For the base cheesecake batter

6 (8) ounce packages philadelphia cream cheese
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
zest and juice of one lemon

the additions
1 cup mango puree
1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder)

Cheesecake batter procedure

Beat the cream cheese and sugar with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add eggs and yolks one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat until the eggs and the cream cheese are fully incorporated. Add flour, salt, lemon juice and zest.

Pour the batter through a fine sieve into a large bowl.

Remove one cup of the batter and pour into a small bowl. Stir in the tablespoon of green tea powder to the one cup. Transfer the green tea cheesecake batter to a squeeze bottle (I have used a washed honey bear for this task but a professional squeeze bottle is best).

In the large bowl with the majority of the plain batter, add the one cup mango puree and stir until completely incorporated. Pour the mango batter into the cake ring with the baked green tea crust. Shimmy and tap the cake pan to pop hidden air bubbles.

Pipe small circles of green tea batter along the perimeter of the cheesecake. Drag a toothpick through the circle to make hearts

Bake the cheesecake at 275º for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 250º and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours more, until the cake has set. The cheesecake should never brown or crack. If you get a hint of browning, open the oven door to allow excess heat to escape quickly and reduce the heat by 25 degrees.

When the cheesecakes stops wiggling when tapped, turn off the oven and allow the cake to cool in the oven overnight. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

A helpful hint for cutting cheesecake: Dip a sharp knife in scalding water and then dry to make a clean cut.

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