White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This white chocolate and mascarpone no-bake cheesecake makes the perfect festive dessert.

This dessert is so easy to pull together. Firstly, the base (or crust) is just crushed up gingerbread and melted butter. No baking involved. I make my own gingerbread, but you can skip that altogether and just buy some. It doesn’t even have to be gingerbread: any ginger cookies will do.

 

 

However, if you would prefer to make your own crust, I have a similar recipe with a ginger and oat bottom: white chocolate truffle cheesecake

The no baking extends to the filling, where the hardest thing is melted a bit of chocolate. I don’t mind a baked cheesecake, but there’s something to be said about a creamy, melt in the mouth, unbaked version. This mascarpone no-bake cheesecake has a filling of white chocolate, cream cheese and mascarpone. And it’s divine. There’s also a bright swirl of fresh cranberry sauce, too.

 

 

What is mascarpone?

Mascarpone is an Italian soft cream cheese. Traditionally, it was made from the milk of cows who grazed on herbs and flowers. How absolutely lovely does that sound?

When we think of cream cheese, our mind invariably goes to the soft cheese used to make cheesecakes, and Philadelphia is the most well-known brand. However, although mascarpone is still a cream cheese, it is a little different. The biggest distinction is the fat content. Mascarpone is traditionally made with cream, whereas cream cheese uses milk. It’s this extra creaminess that makes mascarpone beyond perfect for this dessert.

 

 

What can I use in place of mascarpone?

If you don’t like mascarpone, there are many very suitable alternatives available. Firstly, you could just use extra cream cheese. The recipe already calls for it, so it would make sense just to use more. Ricotta cheese, sour cream and full-fat Greek yoghurt would all be amazing substitutes. If you are looking for healthier alternatives, go for 0% thick yoghurt or cottage cheese.

It’s important to point out that much of the creamy, truffle consistency of this cheesecake is down to the mascarpone, so any substitutions would create a different texture (and taste).

 

 

Sugared cranberries

My absolute favourite part of this mascarpone no-bake cheesecake are the sugared cranberries adorning the top. Aren’t they gorgeous? So festive, too. Although you could absolutely omit these, if your goal is to make a dessert that’s going to knock people’s socks off, then you need to go the whole hog and add them.

 

 

Sugared cranberries are actually very simple to make. You need something to make the sugar stick to the cranberries themselves, so they get a layer of syrup first. The syrup is made by gently heating up water and sugar, then the cranberries get thrown in for a good soak. You allow them to dry, then liberally coat them with sugar. Easy peasy

Before this recipe, I had never eaten fresh cranberries, let alone sugared cranberries, so I might have tried one (or ten) while they were drying. Oh. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. The sensation of super tart cranberries that pop when you bite down, mixed with the sweetness of the sugar, is actually indescribable. So, so good. 

 

 

 

If you like this Christmas dessert, check out my other festive treats:

 

Gingerbread chocolate honeycomb

Saffron skorpor (Swedish biscotti)

Saffron and white chocolate buns

Last minute Christmas fruit cake

 

 

 

 

White Chocolate Truffle and Cranberry Cheesecake

Servings 8 people (or more)

Ingredients

Gingerbread base/crust:

  • 85g (⅜ cup) butter
  • 180g (6¼ oz) gingerbread cookies (see note 1)

Cranberry Sauce (see note 2):

  • 40g (1½ oz) fresh cranberries (see note 2)
  • 1 tbsp water

Filling:

  • 125ml (½ cup) cream
  • 200g (7 oz) white chocolate
  • 250ml (1 cup) mascarpone
  • 200g (1⅔ cups) cream cheese
  • 50g (½ cup) icing sugar
  • cranberry sauce (above)

Sugared cranberries (see note 3)

  • 140g (¾ cup) sugar (divided)
  • 80ml (⅓ cup) water
  • 100g (3½ oz) cranberries

Instructions

Base / Crust

  • Melt the butter in a pan.
  • Blitz the gingerbread cookies until very fine.
  • Stir the crumbs into the melted butter and mix until everything is combined.
  • Pour into a small springform (mine is 18cm / 6"), and smooth out until you have a fairly even coverage.
  • Place in the fridge to harden up a little (about 30 minutes).

Cranberry Sauce:

  • Add the cranberries to a pan with one tablespoon of water.
  • Cook until the cranberries start to burst, then squish them with a fork (see note 2). Set to one side.

Filling:

  • Add the cream to a pan and heat it until a rolling boil starts.
  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and add to the pan (make sure all of the chocolate is covered by the cream). Leave for around five minutes.
  • Quickly whisk until the melted chocolate and cream are combined, and you have a thick, silky mixture.
  • Quickly beat the mascarpone, cream cheese and icing sugar in a mixer (or using a whisk), just until everything is well combined.
  • Pour in the chocolate and cream mixture, and again, mix just until everything is silky and smooth.
  • Add the cranberry sauce and gently stir it in so that it is fairly evenly distributed. Don't stir too much, otherwise your cheesecake filling will be completely pink.
  • Pour over the base / crust and smooth it out. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.

Sugared cranberries (see note 3):

  • Heat half of the sugar and the water together, just until the sugar has melted. Do not boil the mixture, as too much heat may cause the cranberries to pop.
  • Remove from the heat and add the cranberries to the mixture. Using a spoon, move the cranberries around so that they all have an even coverage.
  • Pour the cranberries out into a large metal strainer, or onto a wire rack. It doesn't matter what you use, as long as the syrup can drain off the cranberries. Leave to dry (for around an hour).
  • Add the remaining sugar to a bowl, and add the cranberries. Give it a good shake so that every cranberry has a lovely coating of sugar.
  • Place them on some baking paper to dry (for a further 1-2 hours).

Assembly:

  • When the cheesecake is ready to eat, take it from the fridge and carefully remove the springform outer edge (a warm knife might help with this).
  • Assemble the cranberries however you like, and add any other decoration (I used some silver balls). Slice and enjoy.

Notes

 
  1. I used my pepparkakor to make the base, but you could use any gingerbread or ginger cookie. 
  2. I only wanted to use a small amount of cranberries for the sauce, but if you like them, feel free to use more. I used fresh, but you could use frozen. I didn't add any sugar, but feel free to add a little sugar when cooking the cranberries. 
  3. The sugared cranberries are entirely optional and only used for decorative purposes.
 
Disclaimer:
I have converted grams to cups/ounces/tablespoons using online converters. Although I have no reason to believe they are inaccurate, please be aware that I have not made the recipe with imperial measurements.
In addition, many ingredients are different in Europe compared to North America. I do all I can to offer possible alternatives and to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone. However, results cannot always be guaranteed if you have not used the same ingredients, measurements or methods as me.
Lastly, I do everything I can to ensure that my recipes (and instructions) are accurate and easy to follow. However, I am human, and don't always get it right. If you notice anything strange, a mistake, or even a typo, please let me know in the comments. 
 
White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)White Chocolate and Mascarpone No-Bake Cheesecake (with Sugared Cranberries)


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