Orange Cheesecake with a Ginger Biscuit Base
Dessert at our family’s Christmas has always been my mum’s domain. For as many years as I can remember I’ve always had a hand in these desserts, from drawing the fork across the buttercream on the chocolate yule log to give it that branch-like texture to adding the final stars of icing. Along with several licked bowls in the process. Over the years my contribution has increased and, more recently, I’ve brought new ideas to our offering for Christmas at my granny’s house. This orange cheesecake with a ginger biscuit base is one of those new ideas. Taking a no-cook dessert, usually the epitome of summer, and adding spice, citrus and booze makes it the ultimate fuss-free pudding for Christmas. As long as you think far enough ahead for the chilling time, this is an easy dessert that is perfect for parties or the big day.
To add an extra layer of flavour, I make this orange cheesecake with homemade ginger biscuits. As my Grandma’s recipe, they also add an extra layer of nostalgia. I’m not sure if they are indeed her own recipe or just one that she wrote down to follow. Either way it’s nice to include her in my Christmas celebrations as I can no longer pay her a visit. I’ve added the ginger biscuit recipe below if you’d prefer to make your own too.
Orange Cheesecake with a Ginger Biscuit Base Recipe
300g ginger biscuits
100g unsalted butter, melted
600g soft cheese
100g fair-trade icing sugar
300ml double cream
1 Grease and line a 20cm (8”) loose-bottomed cake tin.
2 Blitz the ginger biscuits into a coarse crumb in a food processor then combine with the melted butter in a medium bowl. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press firmly into an even layer with the back of a spoon. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
3 Zest the oranges then peel them neatly with a sharp knife. Cut the oranges into slices.
4 To make the cheesecake filling, weigh the soft cheese into a large bowl the sift over the icing sugar and add the orange zest. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the cream and cointreau and beat until the mixture is all combined.
5 Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the chilled ginger biscuit base and top with the sliced oranges. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
Grandma’s Ginger Biscuits Recipe
225g fair-trade Demerara sugar
225g plain flour
2tsp ground ginger
115g unsalted butter
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tbsp milk (I use almond)
1 large free-range eggs
1 Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5 and grease or line two baking trays.
2 Combine the sugar, flour and ginger in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour using the tips of your fingers until a fine crumb.
3 Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk; it should froth a little. Beat in the egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and pull the biscuit dough together with your hands.
4 Divide and bake the biscuits in batches, whilst one batch is cooking roll the next and arrange them on a tray. Roll small balls of the dough and space them out on one of the baking trays, leaving room for them to spread. Bake for 10–12 minutes, leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.