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Elegant Orange Blossom Cheesecake

 Elegant Orange Blossom Cheesecake
The aroma of orange blossoms and zest hints at how heavenly this delicate cheesecake tastes. Gingersnap cookie crumbs make a great base and glazed orange slices a lovely topping.—Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
12 ServingsPrep: 40 min. Bake: 70 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 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 McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • CANDIED ORANGE SLICES:
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 small navel oranges, thinly sliced

Directions

  • 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.

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Elegant Orange Blossom Cheesecake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • 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: 12 servings.