Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of cheesecake. It's one of the lower ranked desserts in my book. Not my least favorite dessert but if we compare it to the current NFL rankings, cheesecake would be somewhere down there with the New York Giants or Jets. Hey I don't make the rankings. They are what they are. :P
However, anytime this TJ's blog hands out a perfect 10, it catches my attention. Personally though, I'd be perfectly content if TJ's never devised any new speculoos product ever again. If it ain't broke, why fix it? That ice cream. That ice cream cookie sandwich. What more could you want?
Cheesecake, apparently. Speculoos cookie crust sounds good to me. $6.99 seems kind of steep for a puny cheesecake. But lest we forget, that's about how much one slice of [mediocre] cheesecake costs at Cheesecake Factory. And this cheesecake is a beaut. That perfectly swirled speculoos is a stunner! They say never judge a book by its cover, but that swirl alone earned an extra 0.5 in my rating scale. While it does resemble a giant peanut butter cup, don't let the pictures fool you. This cheesecake is on the petite side at ~8ish inches across.
Of course, I had A (and some other folks) try this as well to offset my cheesecake ambivalence. A's face lit up the way it lights up whenever steak is served at dinner, like a kid in a toy store or a hipster in a hipster coffee shop. Verdict? It's very good, yes. I can certainly understand why the cashier apologized to me when I picked this up - "sorry...it's really good." As if an apology can suffice for the the cash monies and gym time that the masses will have to sacrifice in order to enjoy/work off the glorious fat content of this baby. Oh it was so deliciously creamy! But I won't lie, it wasn't enough to make a cheesecake convert out of me. It was just too sweet. Perhaps it's because Chinese people (and those with Chinese-like taste buds) dislike overly sweet things. Perhaps if I were raised in a different cultural context, I too would fall head-over-heels, but alas I'm sorry but not sorry. And for that reason, my friends agreed too that while this cheesecake was pretty good, even worth trying, but not fabulously great.
My current ranking of all things speculoos:
1. Speculoos Ice Cream
2. Speculoos Cookies
2. Speculoos Cookie Butter
4. Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cups
5. Speculoos Cheesecake
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake. SWEET, creamy, speculoos cheesecake. Cheesecake lovers beware! 7 out of 10.