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HOLIDAY CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE SWIRL
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Difficulty: Medium

This recipe was part of the Food Fight: Holiday Desserts Challenge which ended Nov 6, 2009 04:00 PM.
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VOTE 91

Total Time: 3 hours

Active Time:

Makes: 12 servings, or 10 in my family

Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake Swirl is a combination of red and white, tart and decadent. This dessert will definitely impress friends and family. Maybe even your in-laws! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The walnut and ginger crust gives a twist to this classic favorite. Cranberry Cheesecake Swirl is the perfect holiday dessert. Pressed for time?…it can be made in stages, and the whole thing can be made and kept refrigerated two days ahead, or make it a week before and freeze it. It’s amazing. Don’t just take my word for it. Give it a try…You’ll love it, I’m sure.

Instructions

  1. 1For the Cranberry Swirl:
  2. 2Using a heavy bottom saucepan, medium heat, cook all ingredients(cranberries, 2/3 cup sugar, orange juice and zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, and vanilla pod if using. Is using vanilla extract, hold off and stir in when coulis has cooled. EXCEPT the vanilla) for 5-7 minutes. The cranberries will begin to swell and burst. It will thicken, telling you when it’s ready to remove from heat. Let it cool slightly, then puree in a food process or if you’re fancy, an immersion blender. Strain into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 4-6 hours or if you’re pressed for time, chill it over an ice bath, stirring to promote even cooling.
  3. 3For the crust:
  4. 4Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream on low speed: sugar, molasses, honey, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add water, then sift over flour. Mix until just combined. Fold in ground walnuts. Form dough into square and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 2 hours. In a 10 inch springform pan, grate over enough dough to cover base. press to form crust. Recipe makes plenty. so go ahead and keep the rest of the block frozen for next time or grate and bake it, makes a great yogurt topper. Bake 325 F for 6-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove and set aside, when cool place on big square of foil, bring up sides. Extra protection for the water bath, you’ll see…
  5. 5For the cheesecake filling:
  6. 6Pre-heat your oven to 350F
  7. 7Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, then add sugar, beat until incorporated on medium speed. Lower your speed and add eggs one at a time, and transfer to bowl. Mix in sour cream by hand. Whip whipped cream to stiff peaks, and fold into cream cheese mixture for lighter italian style cheesecake. Or if you prefer the dense dramatic new york style cheesecake, mix it in unwhipped along with the sour cream. soo many possibilities….
  8. 8Assembly:
  9. 9Pour 1/3 of filling onto pre-baked crust. Place three or four dollops (a tbs. or the size of the walnut, see the connection??) of cranberry puree. Continue with another 1/3 of filling, more dollops, then the last 1/3 of filling. Top with more dollops of cranberry puree. Bang cheesecake on table a few times letting air bubbles rise to the top. Now take a knife pointing vertically and swirl through for marbled effect. The amount of swirl depends on you, but don’t swirl too much or you’ll end up with pink cheesecake. Cound be beautiful, but you’d have to change the name. Now place cheesecake in a roasting pan, and pour enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Although tempting, don’t remove the cake from the oven. Just turn off the oven, open the door slighty, leave it ajar for 1 hour.
  10. 10Place cheesecake on cooling rack, run a knife or an offset spatular around the side to loosen the cake. Let it cool, and discard the foil. Cover and chill overnight.
  11. 11Last but not least, Enjoy!!!

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