What about cranberry and white chocolate? Hmmm – okay. Now, should I make a cake, pie, cookies or cheesecake…? I decided to create a cheesecake with whole berry cranberry sauce in the filling and also as a pureed topping. I hoped to nail it within three tries and my neighbors agreed to be guinea pigs.
Since I’ve never liked side crusts on cheesecakes mine would only have a bottom crust – with nuts. I imagined a bright red, translucent glaze atop the white filling, and maybe some curls of white chocolate too.
Three tries and several weeks later, my neighbors and I had chosen the second version. Dense yet moist, the filling showcased a big dose of cranberry flavor and a whisper of melted white chocolate. Finally, white chocolate curls peeked out from between two layers of glaze, thinned with a bit of cranberry juice cocktail.
Somebody else won the contest but I gained a spectacular recipe that I'll forever enjoy sharing with friends and family.
Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
12 ounces Ocean Spray Whole Cranberry Sauce
Crust: Combine crushed graham crackers, walnuts and cinnamon.
Filling: Stir cranberry sauce in a small bowl until it breaks apart and
cream cheese until smooth and then beat in granulated and brown
sugar, a little at a time, until mixture is fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a
time, beating thoroughly after each egg. Beat in cranberry sauce
and white chocolate. Pour filling into pan and bake the cheesecake
in the middle of the oven at 325 degrees, for 1 1/2 hours (times may
vary with individual ovens). Allow cheesecake to cool on a wire rack
before refrigerating, covered, overnight.
Topping: Puree cranberry sauce to make a thick, smooth sauce,
shaved white chocolate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread
remaining sauce over the entire cheesecake and serve.