Friday, January 3, 2014

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cheesecake

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Good news - The Hubby bought me a camera for Christmas, so hopefully you've seen the last of dark, blurry photos like this one.  Hopefully...but I wouldn't hold my breath.
As I mentioned in my last post, for Christmas dinner this year on my family's side my contribution was dessert, and I made two different desserts.  I was only going to make one, this White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake, but then my mom reminded me that my brother doesn't really like cheesecake ever since that 'bad cheesecake that he tried when he was a kid.'  I already had my heart set on the cheesecake, so instead of changing course I decided to add a second dessert, my mom's Mocha Chocolate Roll.  Because why not - two desserts are better than one dessert anyway.  

This particular recipe comes from a recent issue of Food Network Magazine, in a feature on cranberry based desserts.  I just loved the combination of the tart / sweet cranberry topping with the rich / creamy cheesecake in this White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake though, making it my favourite of the two desserts at our dinner.  Another winner recipe from Food Network!  

One Year Ago: Easy-Peasy Cauliflower Cheesy Soup
Two Years Ago: Minestrone Soup

For a printer-friendly version of any recipe, simply click 'Print' below the title of any blog post. Voila - a clean recipe without my ramblings or any pictures!

White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake

Serves: 8 - 10

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (regular or gluten-free will work well)
  • 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, plus a little extra to make into shavings for the garnish
  • 4 x 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • 1 cup regular sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound cranberries, thawed and drained if frozen
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (you may as well juice the skinless orange that you just created)

Set the racks into the lower and middle thirds of your oven, and preheat to 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.  Add the melted butter, and mix together with your hands until everything is evenly distributed.  Pour the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, and press firmly into the bottom of the pan and one inch up the sides.

Get ready for a really cool way to melt chocolate...chop your white chocolate into chunks and place into a medium-sized heatproof bowl.  In a small pot bring about one inch of water to a boil, then remove from the heat completely.  Set the bowl over top of the pot, without letting the bowl touch the water.  Stir until the chocolate is melted, about 3 - 4 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the pot and set aside.


Place the cream cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar into a mixing bowl, and beat with a mixer on medium-high heat for about 7 - 8 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating into the mixture each time.  Add the cornstarch, and beat for another 2 minutes.  Beat in the melted white chocolate, vanilla, and a pinch of salt, until everything is nicely combined.  Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan on top of the crust.

Fill a small roasting pain or baking dish about halfway filled with water, and place on the lowest oven rack.  Place your cheesecake on the middle oven rack directly above the roasting pan.  Bake until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles slightly, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another 30 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely, before placing into the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Pour your cranberries onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of sugar, then let sit for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the orange zest, the orange juice, and 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes so that the sauce thickens up.  Add the cranberries to the saucepan, leaving behind any juices that have been released on the baking sheet.  Cook, while stirring the whole time, for about 7 minutes or until the cranberries begin to burst on their own.  Transfer the cranberry compote to a bowl and put into your fridge until cold and it's time to serve your cheesecake.

To serve, run a knife along the edges of the springform pan, then remove the springform ring / sides of the pan.  Move to a serving plate and top with your cranberry compote and shaved white chocolate for garnish.  Enjoy!

Oh, and if you don't know how to make shaved chocolate, what I did was took a vegetable peeler and scraped it along a piece of chocolate, which created thin pretty curls perfect for garnishing with.

Recipe Source:  Food Network Magazine


  1. o\jmnhfdjkfjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

    ^ That was from Philip. He says hello! And that the cheesecake looks delicious (which it was).

    1. Hahahahahaha - thanks Philip! You're the best....can't wait to meet you! :)


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