White Chocolate, Vodka, and Cranberry Cheesecake



Crumb Crust

  • 8 1/2 ounces butter biscuit cookies
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and husked
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 8 ounces imported white chocolate, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Russian vodka
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


    For the crust, generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of foil. Finely grind cookies, hazelnuts, sugar and nutmeg in the food processor or blender. The blender may be better for blending cookies and nuts separately and then mixing with the sugar and nutmeg in a bowl. Add butter and process until moist clumps form or melt and mix in . Press the crumb mixture in the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. Chill while preparing filling. For the filling, grate the white chocolate and set aside. Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in the saucepan. Saute' the cranberries one minute and add vodka. Flambe' the vodka mixture until alcohol evaporates, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. There should be a liguid glaze in the bottom of the pan. Pour 1/4 cup sugar into the cranberry vodka mixture. Over low heat, whisk into a glaze and set aside to cool. For filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended and scrap the sides of the bowl as you are mixing. Beat in sour cream. Add to filling and beat unitl blended. Beat in vanilla. Stir in white chocolate. Pour filling into prepared crust. Add the cranberry vodka mixture in a circualr motion. You want to see the swirl of the cranberry mixture, do not over mix. Place the springfom pan in a large baking pan. Pur enough water to come halfway up the sides. Bake at 350 degrees until center is set, 1 1/4 hours. Turn off oven; let cake stand in oven with door ajar, 1 hour. Remove pan from water and transfer to wire rack. Cool and serve. If serving later, refrigerate and bring slices to room temperature before serving.
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