Lime Habanero Cheesecake

YIELD: 1 cake

For Roasted Habanero Paste:

2 oz. whole habanero pepper
½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil

For cake:

8.5 oz. graham cracker crumbs
⅛ tsp. salt
4 oz. butter
2 oz. Roasted Habanero Paste
1 oz. granulated sugar
1½ lbs. cream cheese
8 oz. granulated sugar
⅛ tsp. salt
4 ea. eggs
2 Tbps. whipping cream
2 ea. lime, juice
2 tsps. grated lime peel

Prepare Roasted Habanero Paste:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F standard; 325°F convection. Rub washed whole pepper with olive oil. Place peppers on parchment lined tray and roast 30-50 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers. Cover with plastic wrap to let sweat and steam. Let cool. Rub or peel off outer skin, core and remove seeds.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F.

3. Mix the crumbs, salt and melted butter together and stir to mix. Press 12 oz. of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

4. Using a food processor, process the roasted peppers into a paste with the first amount of sugar.

For the cake:

1. Place cream cheese in mixing bowl with paddle attachment and cream until soft. Add the second amount of sugar and salt.

2. Beat in the eggs, 1 egg at a time, until incorporated.

3. Add the cream and blend until smooth. Add the lime juice and lime peel. Mix. Add the Habanero Paste and beat until well mixed.

4. Pour 2 lbs. 14 oz. of cream cheese mixture on top of crust and tap pan gently to level the filling.

5. Place springform pans on sheet tray in oven and bake approximately 1 hour or until cheesecake pulls away from the edge of the pan.

6. Remove from oven and allow to set for 20 minutes.

7. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight at 40°F.

8. When ready to serve run a sharp thin bladed knife around the edge of the pan then remove the form and cut each cheesecake into 16 equal servings.

Recipe: Lucas Miller, Manager of Menu Development and Test Kitchen, Ball State University

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