These cheesecake bars are a show-stopper. They aren't quick as thick as a classic New York style cheesecake but they are certainly as delicious. The flavour profile of honey, figs and cardamom work so seamlessly together. I also have to plug in here that this style of cheesecake is extremely easy to transport and share with others. It's also a beautifully symmetrical dessert, which I'm always a fan of.
24 Graham Crackers, crushed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 pound of cream cheese (454g), room temperature
pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup greek yogurt (full fat)
Optional - add in small chunks of fig
Toppings: sliced figs, honey and crushed pumpkin seeds (or similar seed/nut)
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9x9" square pan with parchment paper that goes up the sides (all four sides to make it easier to remove).
Mix crushed graham crackers, sugar, cardamom together in a bowl. Add in the melted butter and stir well.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan and flatten (compressing it a bit will help too) with a spoon or other flat tool. Bake for 8 minutes until golden.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese and mix until smooth.
Add in sugar, honey and salt and continue to mix.
Add in the greek yogurt, vanilla extract and continue to mix.
Add in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time. Mix until each egg/egg yolk is just combined (don't overmix the eggs).
Pour the cheesecake batter onto the baked crust and gently tap the pan. If you are adding fig chunks, gently drop them in here.
Using a 9x13" baking tray or similar 2" high baking tray, add about 1 - 1.5 inches of water and place on the bottom rack. This will help with the cheesecake baking and add moisture.
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes (the cheeescake will look a bit jiggly or uncooked when it's done but will firm up once it cools down). After the baking is done, turn off the oven and prop the oven door open for an additional 20 minutes. Once cool, remove from the oven and continue to cool at room temperature. Chill overnight or for at least 3 hours.
Top with sliced fresh figs and a drizzle of honey. Cut and serve cold.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.