Candied Orange and White Chocolate Cheesecake

Candied Orange and White Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (orange part only)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,
    cut into pieces (1 1/4 sticks)
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 9-inch spring-form pan with sides at least 2 1/2 inches high. Wrap outside of pan with large piece of heavy aluminum foil.

Combine flour, sugar, grated peel, butter and salt in large bowl of electric mixer and mix on low speed just until small crumbs form. Mixture should not form a ball.

Press mixture onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of prepared pan. Bake about 15 minutes until crust is golden. Do not turn oven off.

Filling
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs (at room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon grated orange peel (orange part only)
2 tablespoons whipping cream
6 ounces white chocolate, melted

Mix cream cheese in large bowl of electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Mix in flour. Add eggs, 2 at a time, mixing until batter is smooth. Mix in vanilla extract, almond extract, liqueur, orange peel and cream. Stir in melted white chocolate. Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Place cheesecake in large baking pan with at least 2-inch high sides and place in oven. Pour hot water in large pan to reach 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake about 1 hour, until top looks firm when given gentle shake.

Remove from water bath. Cover with paper towels and cool thoroughly, about 2 hours.

Cheesecake should feel cool to the touch. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in refrigerator, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Topping
2 oranges (for peel only)
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Using vegetable peeler with slight sawing motion, remove orange peel from oranges in large strips. Cut into matchstick-size strips. Place strips in small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Drain orange strips and rinse with cold water.

Combine 2/3 cup water and the sugar in small saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add orange peel and simmer 10 minutes; drain and cool. Or, refrigerate peel in its syrup up to 1 week.

Place border of glazed orange peel around edge of cheesecake. Store in refrigerator up to 7 days. Serve at room temperature.

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