Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust
For the crust
- One 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies, broken
- 2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- Four 8-ounce packages Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
Make the crust
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Finely grind the cookies and chocolate in a food processor. Add the butter and blend until moist clumps form. Using plastic wrap as an aid, press the crumb mixture over the bottom and 1 1/4 inches up the sides of a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.
- Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the filling
- Increase the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
- Wrap 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until light. Beat in the flour. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in the orange peel and vanilla. Pour the filling into the crust.
- Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until the filling is just set in center but still moves slightly when pan is shaken gently, about 55 minutes. Remove the cake from water bath; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 4 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Make the topping
- Stir the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium; add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a simmer. Add the cranberries; cook until they begin to pop, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Stir in the orange peel. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (The cheesecake and cranberry mixture can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
- Run a knife around the top edge of cheesecake to loosen. Release the pan sides. Top the cheesecake with the cranberry mixture. Chill until set, about 1 hour.