Eggnog Cheesecake with a gingersnap cookie crust is a flavor of the holidays. This cheesecake has a fairly soft consistency with a scrumptious eggnog flavor, and extra eggnog added to the luscious whipped cream topping. Swirl the topping to resemble a snowy field, dust with a light sprinkling of nutmeg, and add a few glittery white chocolate snowflakes for a wintry and festive look. The white chocolate snowflakes can be made shortly before use or make one or several days beforehand
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for preparing pan
12 ounces purchased gingersnap cookies (about 48 cookies), finely ground to make about 2½ cups
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1½ cups commercial eggnog
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
¼ cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
¼ cup commercial eggnog
Ground nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg
White Chocolate Snowflakes:
About 6 ounces white chocolate for snowflakes
White edible glitter
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch round cheesecake pan or springform pan with 3-inch sides; use a pastry brush to lightly butter the pan with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Wrap bottom and sides of pan in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil to prepare for the bain marie water bath. The foil is to prevent any water from seeping into the cheesecake through the pan seams.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix well and press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan and about ½ inch up the sides. Set aside while you make the filling.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and flour. Whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the cream cheese; mix on medium low speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar mixture; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggnog; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the eggs 2 at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions. Tip: crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the cheese mixture.
Tip: Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Blend the ingredients quickly to add as few air bubbles as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air pockets which can cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack during the cooling process.
- Let the filling rest about 5 minutes to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil to use for the bain marie water bath.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the gingersnap crust.
- Set the foil wrapped springform pan in a larger pan or roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan, and close the oven door. Bake 70 to 80 minutes.
Tip: The Cheesecake is done when the edges are set but the center 2 to 3 inches are still a pool of liquid batter. The cake should look as though it has puffed a little and just barely beginning to brown. The center will still be soft and jiggly when the pan is lightly jarred or tapped with a spoon.
- Remove from oven, place springform pan on a wire cooling rack to cool. Immediately run a thin knife around the edge of the pan, gently pressing into the side of the pan to avoid gouging the cake. This allows the cake to contract away from the sides of the pan as it cools, helping to prevent cracks.
- When cheesecake is completely cooled, cover the pan and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before serving. Try to avoid having the covering touch the top of the cheesecake as this may mar the surface.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft mounds form; gradually add the confectioners’ sugar; continue beating until thick and stiff. Slowly drizzle in the eggnog, continuing to beat until well combined. Tip: the cream will whip easier if the mixing bowl and beaters are first chilled; place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to whip the cream.
- Spread the topping evenly over the top of the chilled cheesecake, swirling to resemble mounds of snow.
- Lightly sprinkle ground nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg over topping. Place white chocolate snowflakes in topping.
White Chocolate Snowflakes:
- In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt white chocolate. Or, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, use 50% power and stir frequently just until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat as chocolate will burn easily. Set aside to cool slightly. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the hot water, the upper pan should not touch the water. See Melting Chocolate – How to Melt Chocolate.
- Spread the melted chocolate in a thin layer, about 1/8 inch thick, on a marble board or non-stick baking mat. Use a snowflake shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes before the chocolate has completely set and hardened.
- Sprinkle cutout snowflakes with white edible glitter.
- When ready to serve, place white chocolate snowflakes on top of cheesecake. Refrigerate leftovers.
Adapted From: Classic Southern Desserts, Oxmoor House, Iowa, 2010
Pan: One 10" Round Springform
Pan Prep: Buttered
Oven Temp: 325o
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Method: bain marie
Baking Time: 70 to 80 Minutes
Chilling Time: 12 to 24 Hours
Serves: 10 to 12
Storage: Cover and Refrigerate
Recipe Type: Cheesecake, Eggnog, Gingersnap, Cream Cheese, Christmas
Help: Cheesecake Hints, Melting Chocolate, Chocolate Types
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