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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
For the filling, take the soft cheese, eggs and double cream out of the fridge to come to room temperature 1 hr before you begin. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment: unclip the ring, lay the parchment over the base and clip the ring back. This will ensure there is no lip on the bottom of the finished cheesecake.
Tip the gingernuts into a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and orange zest, then blitz briefly until the crumbs are coated. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press into an even layer using the back of a spoon. Bake for 10-15 mins until the base is slightly crisped up.
Beat the soft cheese and light brown sugar together until creamy using an electric whisk. Whisk in the whole eggs, the egg yolks and cream until smooth. Tip the dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave in 20-second bursts, or do this in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool until warm to the touch. Slowly pour the melted chocolate over the soft cheese mixture, whisking continuously until combined. Stir in the orange zest, reserving the oranges.
Tightly wrap the bottom of the cake tin in foil to prevent leaking, then sit it in a deep roasting tin. Pour the cheesecake filling over the biscuit base. Put the roasting tin in the oven, then pour enough hot water into the roasting tin to come 2½cm up the side of the cake tin. Bake for 1 hr-1 hr 15 mins until the edge of the cheesecake is set, but the centre has a slight wobble (it will continue to set in the fridge).
Put the cake tin on a wire rack, then run a small, sharp knife around the edge to loosen. Remove the foil and leave to cool completely in the tin, then chill for at least 6 hrs in the fridge before removing to a plate. Segment the reserved oranges, avoiding the pith, and use these to decorate the top along with a grating of dark chocolate and candied orange slices, if you like. Will keep covered in the fridge for up to three days.