Blood Orange Cheesecake

I’ve been eyeing the blood oranges at our local grocery store for a while now. Their colour is just so striking, and I knew I needed to do something with them.

Turns out, I did a few things, and this is the first one.

Everyone likes cheesecake, but sometimes cheesecake can just be too much, you know? Heavy and sweet and you feel sort of gluttonous eating it.

The tart-sweetness from the blood oranges cuts right through the heaviness of the cheesecake. The flavour from the fruit is bright and refreshing, and is surprising in the best way.

I added a layer of thin layer of Dulcey blonde chocolate from Valrhona to the base, but you can skip it if you don’t have any.

I had some really serious doubts that the glaze (inspired by Martha Stewart), which is basically just the citrus juice and agar agar, but it really did set.

I’m usually more of a chocolate person, but I’ll definitely be making this again.

 

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Crust
280g cookie crumbs (any type, I used 75% graham crackers and 25% oreo crumbs)
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
141g (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
Big pinch of sea salt

Filling
150g valrhona dulcey chocolate (optional)
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons blood orange zest
1/3 cup blood orange juice

Glaze
1 1/2 tsp agar agar
1 tbsp sugar
7 tbsp blood orange juice
1/4 tsp modified starch (or cornstarch)

 

Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. If you have actual cookies instead of crumbs, Dustify (official word) in a food processor until they’re finely ground with no big chunks, then add the brown sugar and melted butter.  Mix until completely combined. If you bought the already prepared crumbs, just mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Don’t build the crust up the sides. Spray the bottom of a flat bottomed glass with nonstick spray, and press firmly all over the base. You want the base to be as even and packed down as you can get it.
  4. Wrap the springform in tinfoil so the base is fully covered, leave the top open.
  5. Bake until the base no longer looks moist from the butter, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.

Filling:

  1. Melt the dulcey chocolate over a double boiler, allow it to come to room temperature, and then spread a thin, even layer over the base. Refrigerate to help it set.
  2. Squeeze the blood orange juice and strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove all pulp
  3. Add the room temperature cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the granulated sugar and mix on medium until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one a time, beating after each one until combined. Add the vanilla, flour and blood orange juice. Mix on low for until fully combined.
  5. Bake in a 350 F oven for 45 – 55 minutes. The cake is ready when the edges are set up to about an inch from the edge. The center will still be jiggly.
  6. Turn off the oven, prop the door open a bit, and let the cake cool in the warm oven for one hour.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for an additional hour. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Glaze:

  1. Divide the juice, putting 2 tablespoons in a small bowl, 4 tablespoons in a small saucepan, and the last tablespoon in another small bowl.
  2. Add the agar to the 2 tablespoons of juice, stir well to dissolve.
  3. Add the starch to the 1 tablespoon of juice, stir to dissolve.
  4. Add the sugar to the pot. Over medium heat, bring the juice and sugar to a boil.
  5. Once the juice boils, add the cornstarch and mix to dissolve. Remove from the heat, add the juice with the agar and stir to combine.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool.
  7. With the cake cool and still in the springform pan, pour the cooled glaze over the cake. Put it in the fridge to set for at least two hours (but overnight is better).

 

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