From the judge - "Congratulations on completing challenge 10. Looking forward to eating roasted Turnips. Your next ingredient, ingredient number 11 is your choice (you don't believe that do you!), Well.. its not your choice entirely. But the rules would make you believe you have a choice. I hope you like to eat Crystallized Ginger. How about some crunchy Vanilla Sugar Wafers or say tasting a spoon full of Molasses?Or the better, how about mixing them all.? I don't know about you, but I cannot imagine myself enjoying them as a mixture yet. So yep there it is, your challenge. But, then I promised that you have a choice. Yes, you do. Of the three ingredients you have to pick one of them as your main ingredient and the other two as add on. However remember that the flavors of all 3 ingredients should show up in the final product."
Three wonderful ingredient but have to choose one - this meant I had to weigh my choices wisely :-) The moment I saw the ingredients, I knew what my choice was going to be. I decided to focus on the gingery flavor ie. crystallized ginger mainly because the ginger flavor normally tends to overpower other subtle flavors. So in my opinion molasses and vanilla wafers didnt stand a chance when paired with the strong ginger flavor. This being Christmas season I thought making a gingerbread based sweet treat will be just the thing to do. Cheesecake has been in my to do list for a while now. But I did not have a springform pan that is normally used to bake cheesecake. So I decided to go the miniature version route. I used a 12-hole muffin pan to make these bite-sized cheesecake type dessert.
Notes: These gingerbread bites are pretty heavy on the crust and light on the filling than you will find in the usual cheesecake. Add more or less crystallized ginger depending on how "gingery" you would like the filling to be. I used around 3-4 tbsp and found it to be a bit too much of ginger flavor to my liking. But if you can handle it feel free to use as much. I have used a food processor to make the batter which I find is the easiest way - less dishes to clean later :-) But a hand mixer will do the job as well.
Ingredients Gingersnap-vanilla wafer crust
6 vanilla wafers
3 tbsp melted butter Cheesecake Batter
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp crystallized ginger
1/4 tsp allspice powder
Cyrstallized ginger, Vanilla wafers or Gingersnaps for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Add the gingersnap and vanilla wafers into the food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade. Process until the mixture resembles fine grains of sand.
Add the melted butter and pulse just until butter mixes in with the crumbs.
Transfer to a bowl.
Line a 12-hole muffin pan with the cupcake liners.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture into each hole of the prepared pan.
Press into the bottoms and up just a bit to the sides of the liner. (The thickness of the crust can be varied as per your taste. My preference is a thicker crust and lighter on the filling.) Set aside.
In a mixing bowl or in the food processor bowl beat cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and sour cream until light and fluffy (About 2-3 min if using a hand mixer). Dont worry if the consistency looks a bit runny.
Add the egg, mix well till the egg is incorporated into the batter.
Now add molasses, salt, crystallized ginger and allspice. Beat until well mixed.
Fill each of the crumb lined hole with a few tablespoons of the cheesecake batter.
Bake for 15 min or just until the cheesecake batter is set.
Let it cool and then refrigerate for a few hours or even overnight.
Garnish with crystallized ginger and gingersnap before serving.