Indulge in a square of lightly spiced and deeply chocolate cheesecake, with distinct layers of chocolate cookie crust, silky smooth chocolate cheesecake infused with chai spices, and a decadent chocolate ganache to finish it all off.
Sugar and spice and everything nice… that’s definitely what these cheesecake bars are made of. Simple to prepare and even easier to eat (no fork required), you’ll love everything about this decadent treat.
If you haven’t already noticed, I love bar-ifying recipes that aren’t typically served as squares. From cookies to coffee cake and even pumpkin pie, squares are quickly becoming my favorite serving shape. Needless to say I’ve definitely been getting my money’s worth out of my trusty 8-by-8 pan.
These chocolate chai cheesecake bars (or, as they’re known colloquially, Ch³ Bars) are adapted from my triple chocolate cheesecake recipe, scaled down and infused with sultry chai spices and transformed into easy-to-eat bars.
What is Chai?
Originating from India, chai literally means tea (derived from ‘cha’, the Chinese word for tea, so when you go around saying ‘chai tea’ you’re actually saying ‘tea tea’ FYI). Chai has become a word that is used on its own to describe what is more technically known as masala chai, a fragrant blend of spices infused into a tea-like beverage (often with black tea, but that’s not always the case).
The actual spices that you’ll find in masala chai varies greatly depending on the maker. Most include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, with some blends containing coriander, star anise, and even black pepper.
In this recipe, the fragrant chai spices meet with dark, bittersweet chocolate in multiple forms for a unique, multi-faceted flavor. Cardamom isn’t a spice you usually see paired with chocolate, which is a shame, as it proves to be a truly transcendent pairing (and considering I’m not usually a huge fan of cardamom, that’s saying something).