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LifeSTyle
The Great Holiday Baking Season
Guest Contributor Deema Elshourfa
Insurance Defence Lawyer, Evangelista Barristers & Solicitors
@deema_eats
  
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W
hether you celebrate any of the traditional holidays or just like to unwind and get together with friends and family, chances are you might find yourself needing to bake. Bringing a baked treat to a potluck, family dinner or gathering with friends is always a hit—you can prepare it beforehand and don't have to worry about keeping it hot and fresh like an appetizer or entree.
The holidays are extra fun when it comes to baking because the possibilities are endless. From seasonal flavours to decor, any element of a dessert can be elevated for the holiday season.
One of my favourite desserts to make is a cheesecake topped with a white chocolate ganache, sugared and fresh cranberries, dried fruit, white chocolate chips and rosemary. The recipe originates from Kristen Chidsey of the "Mind Full Mom" blog—I've added a few touches to make it ready for the holidays. This cheesecake will blow your guests away. It not only looks stunning, it’s one of the best cheesecake recipes out there. You’ll be the star of the party if you arrive with this cheesecake, guaranteed. Make sure to try it out this holiday season.
INGREDIENTS
Crust 1.5 cups of graham cracker crumbs 3 tbsp melted butter 2 tbsp sugar
Cheesecake Filling 3 large eggs separated into whites and yolks 3 8-oz packages of block cream cheese (room temperature) 3/4 cup sugar 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1 tsp lemon juice
White Chocolate Ganache 1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks 1/2 cup whipping cream Toppings Sugared cranberries Fresh cranberries Dried orange slices (blood orange slices look extra festive) White chocolate chips Rosemary sprigs
DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 2. In a food processor, break down graham crackers until you get a fine crumb. Add in 2 tbsp of sugar and pulse to combine. With the food processor still running, add in melted butter through the lid. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand. 3. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. 4. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form (when you can turn the beaters upside down and egg whites stay up right). Set aside. 5. Beat together 1 package of cream cheese with 1 egg yolk and 1/4 cup sugar until creamy. Repeat the process twice more. 6. Add in vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until combined. 7. Gently fold egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Don’t over mix/aggressively mix. 8. Pour cream cheese mixture onto prepared crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles. 9. Create a water bath by pouring hot water into a roasting pan on a rack below the one you use for the cheesecake. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. 10. Make your ganache (this can also wait until the next day). Melt white chocolate by using a double boiler or microwaving in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Warm up whipping cream to just above room temperature. Pour 1/3 of the whipping cream into the chocolate and mix until combined. Pour another 1/3 of the whipping cream into the chocolate and mix until combined. Pour the last 1/3 of the whipping cream and mix until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set on the counter until you’re ready to use. 11. When the cheesecake’s done baking, let it cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Pop it in the fridge for 12-24 hours (this is extremely hard but extremely important! I can't stress it enough). 12. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge and out of the pan. Top with white chocolate ganache and seasonal toppings. Enjoy!
VOLUME 21 | ISSUE 6
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