xmas month 2022 - cranberry cheesecake

I am quite the fan of Adam Liaw and watch his cooking show,
The Cook-Up, most nights. I've had his wife Asami's cheesecake recipe bookmarked for a few years but until now hadn't found the time to make it.

As is my way, I changed the recipe a little. When I lived in Canada, cheesecake always came topped with berries so I decided to make the cheesecake look a little more festive by topping it with a layer of cranberry compote. It also helped use up the bag of frozen cranberries I had lurking in my freezer.

The original cheesecake recipe had a crushed biscuit base but I'm not a fan of biscuit bases so I made a wholemeal shortbread base instead. Adam used whiskey in the filling but I used rum instead, as did Asami in the orginal recipe.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 10 x 20cm cheesecake. Please note you will have to start this recipe the day before serving. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Cranberry cheesecake – start this recipe the day before serving
50g unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 tbs (25g) caster sugar
¼ cup (35g) plain flour
¼ cup (35g) wholemeal plain flour
pinch salt
½ tsp vanilla essence

125g sour cream
250g cream cheese
1 egg 
50g soft brown sugar
50g caster sugar 
100ml thickened cream
1 tsp good-quality dark rum 
2 tbs (25g) cornflour
1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract

250g fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
¼ cup orange juice
⅓ cup (80g) caster sugar
¼ cup water
3 tsp orange rind, divided

Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Line a 10 x 20cm rectangular loaf pan with baking paper. To make the base, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a small bowl until light and creamy. Mix in the flours and salt and combine until the mixture forms a soft dough. Press the mixture into the base of the tin, (the base should not go up the sides of the tin). Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

While the base is baking and cooling, make the filling. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream and cream cheese together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in the egg and sugars, then add the cream, rum and vanilla and fold everything together. Stir in the cornflour (there's no need to sieve it first) and then allow the mixture to drain through a fine sieve (don't push it through or you may get small lumps). You can also save some time by making the filling in the food processor but don't skip the sieving process.

Pour the mixture over the cooled base in the pan. Tap the pan on the bench firmly a few times to remove any air bubbles. This step is very important, as air bubbles will expand with baking and affect the texture of the filling.

Place the pan in a larger baking tray and fill the large baking tray with boiling water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour, or until the cheesecake has set. Turn off the oven, keeping the door closed and leave the cheesecake undisturbed for about 3 hours. Removing it from the oven before that time will cool it too quickly and you may get cracks in your filling. After 3 hours, remove the cheesecake from the oven, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight to allow it to set further. 

Combine cranberries in a small saucepan with the juice, sugar, the water and 2 tsp orange rind. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries are soft and the sauce turns syrupy, about 8 to 10 min. Cool the compote completely before topping the cheesecake. 

Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining rind over the top then cut the cheesecake into bars to serve.  The cheesecake is very rich, so it's best to serve it in small slices. 


Look how smooth that baby is and best of all, it received rave reviews as well. The cranberry compote was really delicious and when I can track down frozen cranberries again I'll be making some more.

See you all again on Friday with another Xmas month post. 

Bye for now, 



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