cake7Cheesecake has always been on the table for every holiday in our family. But who says you need to wait for holidays to make one? The only problem I had here in Montreal or back in the US that I can’t find the right cheese that I usually would use in Poland. The only place that had it so far was Polish grocery stores. As a replacement I use the cream cheese which apparently is the type of cheese everyone uses in the US and Canada. I found some inspiration at the foodnetwork magazine  but I twisted the recipe quite a bit. I really liked the use of cranberries especially since they are available everywhere right now. It might be a fresh idea to use during Thanksgiving next to the pumpkin pie and other goodness. The tartness of cranberries matches perfectly the creaminess and sweetness of the cake and its chocolate bottom.

Chocolate bottom:
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2.5 oz of dark chocolate
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup of all purpose flour

Cheese filling:
2 cream cheesecake sticks (0,5 kg/1lb6oz)
0,5 kg/1lb6 oz of mascarpone cheese
4 oz of white chocolate
3 tablespoons of sour cream
5 eggs
3 tablespoons of potato flour/cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
½ cup of sugar (optional – depending on how sweet you like your filling)

Topping:
1 lb/0.45g of fresh cranberries
½ cup of sugar
½ cup of orange juice
Pinch of cinnamon

Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pot and put it aside to cool down. Add sugar and eggs and whisk all the ingredients together. Sift the flour and add it to the remaining ingredients.

chocolate
Prepare the 9 inch/24 cm spring form, put the parchment paper on the bottom part and close the spring with the paper sticking out. This way it will be easier to remove the paper after it’s baked.

Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Pour the chocolate mix into the spring form and bake it for 15 minutes. Take it out and while it is cooling down prepare the cheese filling. Don’t turn the oven off.

Beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese in the mixer for about 5 minutes. In the meantime melt the white chocolate and let it cool down.

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Add the sugar and the potato flour/cornstarch and vanilla extract.  Start adding eggs, one at a time. Beat on low speed until they are incorporated. Use your baking spatula to scrape off the cheese from the sides of the bowl so that you mix in all the ingredients evenly. Mix the sour cream with the white chocolate and add slowly to the cheese feeling. Transfer the filling into the baked chocolate bottom.

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Before you put the cheesecake in the oven boil some water and fill a bread pan or roasting pan halfway through and set on the lowest oven rack. This will help keep the cheesecake from cracking.

cheesecake in the oven
Put the cheesecake in the oven and bake for 15 minutes in 350F/175C and then decrease the temperature to 250F/120C for another 1h15 minutes.

before the fridge
Don’t take out the cheesecake once it’s cooked but open the door slightly and let it sit for another 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let it cool down completely for one hour. Run a knife around the sides of the spring form to release the cake and then open the form. Refrigerate overnight.

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To make the topping: rinse the cranberries and put them in the pan. Add the sugar and orange juice and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Stir it occasionally. Add a pinch of cinnamon and more sugar if you feel it’s too tart. The cranberries will burst and create a thick compote. Cool it down before putting it on the cheesecake. Shave some white chocolate for decoration on the topping.

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