Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a glass (or two) of eggnog, whether you make your own or pick up a bottle at the store. You can now take that holiday flavor up a notch by incorporating the drink into a classic cheesecake. Add in a few warming spices and you'll have a delicious dessert so fitting of the season.
What liqueur base you choose for the eggnog cheesecake is entirely up to you—whether rum, brandy, or even none at all, the cheesecake will still taste fabulous. It's also delicious served with a fresh or dried fruit compote.
- For the Crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon butter (for greasing)
- For the Filling:
- 24 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 3/4 cup golden fine sugar•
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large organic free-range eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1/2 cup eggnog
- Dash of mixed spice or pumpkin spice mix
- Dash of mace or ground nutmeg
- For the Garnish:
- 1 fresh nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Lightly butter the inside of a 9-inch springform cake pan. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper.
Mix the cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the base of the tin and press firmly to create an even base for your cheesecake. Set aside.
Using a stand or hand electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese with the sugar. Add the flour and beat again. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the beaten eggs; it is essential that you do not mix too quickly at this stage or there will be too much air in the cheesecake and it will crack while cooking.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the eggnog and spices, then gently pour the filling into the graham cracker shell. Tap the pan lightly on the worktop to release any air bubbles.
Place a large baking pan into the center of the preheated oven and pour in approximately 1 1/2 inches of hot water (this is called a bain marie). Carefully set the filled cake pan into the water, close the oven door and bake for 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is firm, but ever-so-slightly wobbly in the center.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for 20 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, but if you can, chilling the cheesecake overnight is even better.
Before serving, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature. When ready to slice, grate over a light dusting of fresh nutmeg for that lovely Christmas aroma to accompany your dessert to the table.
- Golden fine sugar is less refined than white and adds a lovely, slightly toastier flavor to the cheesecake. If you cannot find this sugar, don't worry, regular fine sugar also works.
- Make the eggnog cheesecake ahead of time to help your busy Christmas schedule as it freezes really well. Open freeze the cheesecake, then wrap loosely in one layer of parchment paper, then tightly with plastic wrap and label. The cake will keep for up to 4 months. To defrost, unwrap, and leave in the refrigerator overnight. Garnish with the nutmeg right before serving.