Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Orange, Cinnamon and Agave Cheesecake

This cheesecake combines several delicious Mexican flavors including cinnamon and citrus. A rich dessert is perfect for sharing at the holidays. This "no bake" version comes together quickly for when you need an impressive but last minute dessert idea.

16 cinnamon sugar spice cookies (such as LU biscuits)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 8-ounce/225 grams cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup agave nectar + 1 teaspoon for topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large oranges
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cookies to make crumbs. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and remove to cool while making the filling.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and 1/4 cup of agave nectar until smooth and fluffy; about two minutes on high. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until silken. Spoon the filling over the crust in the cooled spring form pan. Refrigerate to set at least two hours.

For the orange topping: Heat the broiler. Cut the top and bottom off the oranges. Cut down each side removing all the peel and pith. Cut the orange into 1/4-inch thick round slices. Lay the rounds on a baking tray. Mix the cinnamon and salt together in a small bowl. Lightly sprinkle the mixture over the tops. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave over the slices. Place under the broiler to cook for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool before topping the cheesecake.

When ready to serve, gently remove the spring form side. Smooth out any mishaps with an icing spreader. Top the cake with the cooled orange slices and serve immediately.

Serves 8 or 16

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