Tamarind Cheesecake with Salted Pretzel Crust

Tamarind is delicious, versatile, and, at least in my household, it is having a moment. I’m using it in marinades, dipping sauces, salad dressings, simple syrups, broths, and deserts. It was only a matter of time before I made a tamarind cheesecake.

In developing this recipe, I was shocked that the internet isn’t already flooded with tamarind cheesecakes! Tamarind’s tang is a no brainer for a cheesecake flavor and I am a little disappointed in The Cheesecake Factory for the oversight. How do you have multiple chocolate cheesecake flavors and not a single tamarind?! I had to make it right.

My first attempt was very good, if I do say so myself, but there was not nearly enough tamarind. The second attempt included a swirl and it was juuuuust right.

Tamarind Cheesecake With Salted Pretzel Crust

1 1/2 cups salted pretzel crumbs (pretzels pulsed in food processor until fine)

1/2 c plus 6 Tbs tamarind concentrate

1 2/3 cups plus 1 Tbs sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

4 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each), at room temperature

2 Tbs flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs lime juice (I used calamansi)

Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking oil, then line the pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. Cut your parchment paper to size. I save myself some time and buy 9 inch parchment paper cake rounds. Spray parchment paper with oil. Do not risk your cake sticking to the pan!

Preheat oven to 325.

In a bowl, mix pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and 2/3 cup sugar until it is the consistency of wet sand. Dump crumbs into pan and press into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pan. I love cheesecake crust so this recipe makes enough for the bottom and sides to have a nice 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick crust, depending upon how far up the sides of the pan you push it. Put crust in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Put 6 Tbs of tamarind concentrate in a small saucepan with 1 Tbs sugar and heat over medium flame while stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and 2 Tbs flour on low. When mixture is smooth, add one egg at a time, mixing each egg completely into the mixture before adding the next. Add 1/2 cup of tamarind concentrate, vanilla, and lime juice. Pour 1/2 of mixture into pan. Drizzle 3 Tbs of tamarind concentrate mixture over the top of the cream cheese mixture and, using a butter knife or toothpick, swirl the concentrate with the cream cheese, being careful not to scrape the crust.

Pour the remaining cream cheese mix into the pan. Drizzle the remaining concentrate on top and swirl using the same method.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cake will be jiggly. It is done when the entire cake has puffed up (not just the sides) and the center is not sticky to touch. Make sure you test by touching the cheesecake and not the swirl, because the swirl will remain sticky.

Let cool for 1/2 hour before releasing cake from spring form. Let cool completely before moving cake off of the base of the springform.

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