The aroma of orange zest hints at how heavenly this delicate cheesecake tastes. Gingersnap cookie crumbs make a distinctive crust, while glazed orange slices become a blossomlike topping. —Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 3 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 60 cookies)
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons grated orange peel, divided
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1-1/2 cups orange juice
- 1/3 cup sliced fresh gingerroot
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- CANDIED ORANGE SLICES:
- 3 cups water
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 small navel oranges, thinly sliced
- Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
- In a large bowl, combine crumbs, 2 teaspoons orange peel and butter. Press onto bottom and 2-in. up sides of prepared pan.
- In a large saucepan, combine orange juice and ginger; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Strain and discard ginger.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in ginger syrup, melted chocolate, vanilla and remaining orange peel. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
- Bake at 325° for 70-80 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- For candied orange slices, in a large skillet, combine water and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Add orange slices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 45 minutes or until translucent. Drain oranges on a wire rack; arrange in a single layer on waxed paper to dry.
- Remove sides of pan. Top cheesecake with candied orange slices. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Elegant Orange Blossom Cheesecake in Country Woman February/March 2013
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