- 1 1/2 bags gingersnap cookies - (8 oz ea) ground (abt 3 cups)
- 6 tablespoons butter - (3/4 stick) melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced orange peel - (generous) orange part only
- 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
- 1 piece unpeeled fresh ginger - (3" long) thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
- 4 packages cream cheese - (8 oz ea) room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced orange peel orange part only
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces imported white chocolate melted (such as Lindt)
- 4 large eggs
- CANDIED ORANGES:
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 seedless oranges unpeeled, and cut into paper-thin slices
- Fresh mint leaves
For Crust: Stir all ingredients in medium bowl until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of 9- by 2 3/4-inch springform pan.
For Filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil orange juice and ginger in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 12 minutes.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, orange peel and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Strain reduced orange juice and add to bowl. With mixer running, add chocolate and beat until combined. Reduced speed to low. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until just combined.
Pour batter into crust. Bake cheesecake until top is dry and sides puff slightly (most of cheesecake will jiggle when shaken), about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. Cover and chill overnight. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.)
For Candied Oranges: Cover rack with waxed paper. Combine water and sugar in heavy wide shallow pot. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Add orange slices 1 at a time. Adjust heat so syrup bubbles only around edges of pan. Cook oranges 1 hour. Turn over top layer of oranges and cook until oranges are translucent and orange peels are tender, about 1 hour longer. Arrange oranges in single layer on prepared rack. Let dry 1 hour. Boil sugar syrup until thick, about 6 minutes. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead.)
Run small knife around edges of cheesecake. Loosen pan sides and remove. Overlap orange slices and atop cheesecake. Reheat orange syrup over low heat if necessary. Brush over orange slices. Garnish with mint and serve.
This recipe yields 10 to 12 servings.