Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake


Ingredients

Graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cranberry mixture:
4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2 1/4 cups vodka
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest

White chocolate cheesecake:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
10 1/2 ounces good quality white chocolate 4 large eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 tablespoon brandy

Cranberry coulis:
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
12 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)


Preparation

1. Make graham cracker crust: Position rack to center of oven, and preheat to 325°F.

2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add butter and toss until crumbs are moistened. Press into bottom of a 9" springform pan. Bake for about 8 minutes, until set.

3. Make cranberry mixture: In food processor, process cranberries to small pieces. In a bowl, combine vodka, sugar and zest, then add cranberries. Set aside.

4. Make cranberry white chocolate cheesecake: Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 300°F.

5. In bowl of an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy and no lumps of cream cheese remain. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate according to directions in Chocolate Key on page 65.

6. Add eggs and zest, then add chocolate and brandy to cream cheese/sugar mixture. Fill springform pan 1/3 full with batter. Carefully spoon a thin layer of cranberry mixture on too, and fill pan 3/4 full with remaining batter. Place pan in a large roasting pan filled halfway with simmering water, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan, set on a wire rack.

7. Chill cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.

8. Make coulis: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim off any foam that forms on top of mixture. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from heat and pour into a food processor. Process finely and pass purée through a strainer, back into saucepan;  continue cooking for 5 minutes.

9. Serve cake: Remove side from springform pan and serve slice of cake with Cranberry Coulis on side.

NJ Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ, 07102; 973-642-1226; www.theatersquaregrill.com.

 


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