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Chestnut Cheese Cake
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John 

The crust:
¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon softened butter
½ tablespoons sweetened chestnut purée
¼ teaspoon powdered ginger

The cheesecake;
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
¾ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 cup sweetened chestnut pur

The topping:
¼ cup dark rum
1 tablespoon sweetened chestnut pur
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter

Pre-heat the oven to 350
º and place a kettle of water to boil
for a bain-marie. Prepare the crust in a food processor,
combining crushed graham crackers crumbs, ginger, butter,
and chestnut purée. Process until mixture is the consistency of
wet sand. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan.
Refrigerate while making the rest of the recipe.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, then the
eggs and egg yolks one at a time. Add the sour cream, lime
juice, vanilla extract and rum. Mix until smooth and creamy.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the chestnut pur
ée, until
thoroughly absorbed.

Cover the outside of the spring-form pan containing the crust
with a layer of plastic wrap and then aluminium foil so the
bottom and sides are covered to make a watertight casing.
Place the pan in a bain-marie and pour in cheesecake filling.
Add enough boiling water from the kettle to come a bit over
an inch up the side of the cake pan. Bake for approximately
one hour or until just set on top with a hint of wobble
underneath. The cake will continue to cook as it cools.
Remove from the bain-marie, remove the foil and plastic
wrap, and cool to room temperature on a rack. Refrigerate
overnight before un-moulding.

To make the syrup combine the rum, chestnut pur
ée, sugar,
and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat stirring
until melted. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and
cool to room temperature before refrigerating. 

To take away the chill before serving, remove cheesecake from
refrigerator a bit in advance. Just before serving, cut into slices
and criss-cross each with a drizzle of syrup.


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