What could be more suitable for the holidays than a creamy, rich cheesecake with a crisp gingersnap crust and a tangy cranberry orange filling?
The white chocolate ganache topping is garnished with sugared cranberries and white chocolate chips. Not only festive, but it’s also delicious.
For the crust
- 226 g or 8 oz gingersnaps
- 113 g or 4 oz melted butter
- 57 g or 2 oz brown sugar
For the cranberry-orange compote
- 454 g or 4 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 200 g or 1 c granulated sugar
- 2 oz or ¼ c orange juice (from 1 large orange)
- 1 tbsp orange zest (from 1 large orange)
For the cheesecake
- 900 g or 2 lbs cream cheese, softened (original, not whipped)
- 250 g or 1¼ c granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 170 g or 6 oz best quality white chocolate, melted
For the white chocolate ganache
- 64 g or 2.25 oz heavy cream
- 191 g or 6.75 oz best-quality white chocolate
Make the compote
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and zest to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cranberries soften or pop (6–8 minutes). Cool completely.
Make the gingersnap crust
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps into fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter and brown sugar. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Make the cheesecake
- Have all ingredients at room temperature.
- Arrange a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the vanilla. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the melted chocolate and beat until well combined.
- Remove the chilled springform pan from the fridge. Wrap the sides and bottom of the pan with aluminium foil to protect the pan in the water bath.
- Using the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula, spread the compote over the crust and smooth the surface flat. Spoon the cheesecake filling carefully over the cranberry layer—smooth the top. Place the cheesecake pan inside a roasting pan.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Gently place the roasting pan in the oven (don’t pull the rack out of the oven). Pour in enough hot water to come about one-third of the way up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake until the outside of the cake is set but the centre is still jiggly (50–60 minutes). Turn the oven off, prop the door open with a wooden spoon, and let the cheesecake cool for about 1 hour. This will minimize the chances of the cheesecake cracking.
- Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan to a rack. Leave it in the springform pan; run a knife around the edges and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Make the white chocolate ganache
- In a medium heatproof bowl, heat the white chocolate in the microwave until soft (1 minute).
- In another heatproof bowl or glass measuring cup, heat the heavy cream until just simmering. Pour over the chocolate (ensure it is fully covered). Allow the heat of the cream to melt the chocolate (5 minutes). Gently whisk to combine, taking care not to incorporate any air. Immediately pour over the chilled cake and allow it to harden.
- When ready to serve, carefully run a warmed spatula around the edge of the cake and remove it from the springform pan.
- Garnish the cake with sugared and plain cranberries and white chocolate chunks or chips.