Creamy and light gingerbread cheesecake filled with all the best flavors of the holiday season.
Remove the block of soft tofu from the container and wrap it with 2 sheets of paper towel to absorb the moisture. Set it on a plate while you prepare the crust.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Place an oven rack into the lower third position.
Prepare the Crust:
Tear out 2 large sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil. Make sure that the sheets are large enough so that you can wrap the bottom of the pan. Take a sheet of the foil and set the pan on top. Gently fold the foil up the sides of the pan and press it firmly along the sides. If you have extra foil running over the top of the pan, gently fold them around the top edge of the pan.
Place half of the graham crackers in a sealable plastic bag. Roll a rolling pin on top of the bag to crush the graham crackers. You can also smash the crackers with a kitchen mallet or pulse them in a food processor. Empty the crumbs into a medium-sized bowl. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix everything. You may need to use your hands to make sure that all the crumbs are moistened.
Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan. Make sure that the crumbs fill the entire bottom surface. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Let the crust cool while you prepare the filling.
Reduce the heat to 325ºF (163ºC).
Prepare the Filling:
Remove the paper towels that are wrapped around the tofu. Place the entire tofu block into a food processor and blend until it is completely smooth, like the consistency of yogurt. You can do this in a high-speed blender, too.
Empty the creamy tofu into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat again for another 2 to 3 minutes. Next, beat in the eggs, one egg at a time. Add the molasses, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt and beat the batter until everything is incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Set the batter aside.
Bring about 1 to 2 liters of water to boil.
Cook the Cheesecake:
Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan. Set the springform pan into a large roasting pan or a large cast iron skillet.
Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan or large cast iron skillet, creating a water bath for the cheesecake. You want to pour enough water into the pan so that the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. I like using a kettle or a measuring cup with a spout to do this so that no water splatters into the cheesecake. Alternatively, you can pour the water into the roasting pan or cast iron skillet first before setting the springform pan inside.
Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour 30 minutes, until the filling is set.
Let the cheesecake cool at room temperature for about an hour before chilling it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.
Before you release the cheesecake from the springform pan, make sure that you run a butter knife along the sides of the cheesecake to make sure that it’s not still sticking to the pan.
Decorate the cheesecake with piped whipped cream and gingerbread biscuits, if you like.