A light, creamy cheesecake flavored with oranges and Grand Marnier.
Ok, so this is a breakfast blog.
And this is a boozy dessert.
Things are getting weird around here.
This cheesecake is just one of those things that needs to be shared. Like pictures of frozen yogurt swirls or ‘I totally woke up like this’ selfies.
This dessert was made a few weeks ago for a dinner party (ok, technically it was a lunch party, but ‘lunch party’ sounds kind of odd). Since the cheesecake was a hit, and based on a recipe I’ve made many times, I concluded it would be a crime to hoard this recipe. A crime against cheese. And cakes.
As I’ve mentioned before, some of my recipe ideas come from the weird and wonderful world of dreams. This cheesecake is one of them. Maybe I was dreaming about crepes suzette, maybe I was thinking about the upcoming lunch party, or maybe I was just craving desserts – whatever the reason, I woke up with one distinct thought: orange and Grand Marnier cheesecake.
(Good thing too, because at the time we had no idea what dessert to serve at the
dinner lunch party).
After working out the specifics with a woman much wiser than myself (my mother), this cheesecake literally went from dream to reality.
This isn’t one of those heavy, dense cheesecakes that you can only stand a mouthful of before being defeated. No way. This cheesecake has a much lighter texture, so you can happily eat a slice and go back for more <— you’ve been warned.
The key to the cheesecake’s texture: not one, but two cheeses.
I wish I could say I ingeniously came up with the idea of a two cheese cheesecake, but I didn’t. The idea of using both cream cheese and ricotta cheese came from Donna Hay’s Classic Baked Cheesecake, which I adapted to make this Orange and Grand Marnier dessert. I changed some of the quantities, the method, and obviously the ingredients (hello liqueur!). But I was definitely keeping the idea of using two cheeses in the cake.
While a tablespoon here and there won’t make a world if difference, in the recipe below, use the amounts listed in grams for the most precise measurements.
I’m someone who has an odd halfway-between-US-and-metric system when it comes to recipes. When an ingredient is usually measured in cup measurements (e.g. sugar), I always use cups. But when an ingredient is easier to weigh (e.g. cream cheese), I prefer to use grams.
However, I’ve included both US and metric measurements in the recipe, so we can all get along.
By the way, I’m sorry about the lighting in these photos. I really need to learn how to use my camera.
Oh, and despite the theme of this blog, I’m not advocating that people eat this for breakfast! Cream cheese for breakfast? Sure. Grand Marnier? Yeah, perhaps not.
Although I will confess to having eaten cheesecake for breakfast on at least one occasion. So it’s a judgment-free zone here.
- For the base
- 4 oz (110g) graham crackers or digestive biscuits
- ⅔ cup (60g) almond meal
- 2 oz (60g) butter
For the filling
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur
- 11 ½ oz (330g) cream cheese, softened
- 16 oz (460g) fresh ricotta cheese
- 4 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1⅓ cups (295g) sugar
- 4 teaspoons orange zest
- ¼ cup (60mL) fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Spiked Orange Syrup (recipe follows)
- Fresh orange segments
- Make the base: Grease a 9-inch (22.5cm) springform pan and line the bottom with non-stick paper.
- In a mini or regular-sized food processor, process the graham crackers (or biscuits) until they turn into crumbs. Add the almond meal, and briefly process to combine.
- Melt the butter in the microwave (using a low wattage), or in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow the butter to cool for a moment, and then pour it into the food processor. Process until completely combined.
- Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Place it in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and Grand Marnier to form a smooth paste.
- In a large bowl, use electric beaters to beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
- Add the cornstarch mixture, ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract. Use the electric beaters to beat until smooth.
- Pour the filling mixture over the prepared base. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until just set. The middle should be slightly wobbly. Allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, refrigerate until cold. Serve with the Spiked Orange Syrup and fresh orange segments.
I've also made this using an 8-inch (20cm) springform pan, so feel free to use an 8-inch pan if that's what you've got.
Recipe adapted from this Classic Baked Cheesecake.
- 1 large orange
- ⅔ cup (155g) sugar
- 1 cup (240mL) fresh orange juice
- ½ cup (120mL) water
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the orange. Try to peel as little pith (the white stuff) as possible. Slice the orange peel as thin as possible.
- Place the sliced orange peel, sugar, orange juice, water and Grand Marnier in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture has formed a thick syrup.
- Serve with the Orange and Grand Marnier Cheesecake. If making the syrup in advance, allow it to cool and place in the fridge until needed.