Monday, March 7, 2011

Ginger Brandy Cheesecake

Ginger Brandy Cheesecake was the featured dessert for Friday night's family dinner.  I had been wanting to make this dessert for some time, but really needed a nice show of people since the cake is quite big. Making a rich cheesecake just doesn't make much sense when there aren't many mouths around!

First thing's first: I ground up gingersnap cookies in the food processor. I used Trader Joe's Triple Ginger cookies and highly recommend them! I mixed the cookies with melted butter and pressed them into a 10" springform pan.

There is a little bit of brandy in the filling and the glaze of this cake. At first, I planned to omit this from the recipe, since I didn't have any brandy and didn't really feel a pull to go buy some. Instead, I sniffed around and low and behold ... found some Apple Brandy!

The cake baked. It was glossy and firm when it came out.

While the cake cooled, Charlie and I squeezed fresh oranges to make juice for the glaze.

The glaze cooked on the stove: cornstarch, orange juice, fresh orange zest, sugar, and brandy.

I sliced up spicy bits of crystallized ginger for the top.

And decorated it with the hot glaze and ginger candies.

All in all, I'd say this cheesecake was a glorious success. I loved the crust and the filling wasn't too sweet. Next time I might try making it in a smaller springform pan, just so it's a little taller. I am so glad I could share this wonderful treat with my family!

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