Tuesday, January 17, 2012


4 whole Graham crackers (2 squares each)
2 tbsp stick butter, melted

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Coat an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Crush Graham crackers into fine crumbs using food processor or place crackers in a large ziplock plastic bag and crush with rolling pin until fine.  Place in a bowl and add the melted butter, stirring until blended.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan.  Set aside and prepare the filling.

3 pkgs (8-oz each) Neufchatel (l0wer-fat) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 tsp finely grated orange peel
1 tbsp orange juice

In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until blended.  Beat in the sour cream, orange peel and orange juice until combined.  Pour the filling over the crust.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until the edge of the cake puffs slightly and the center still juggles slightly when lightly shaken.  Turn off oven leaving the door closed.  Allow cake to set in the oven for one hour.

Remove cake from oven and gently run a thin knife around the edge to loosen from pan.  Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

3 oz (3 squares) semisweet baking chocolate
2 tbsp stick butter
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine all the ingredients and cook, stirring, until smooth.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly but not completely.

Remove the sides from the cheesecake and place cake on serving platter.  Spread the glaze over the top of the cake using the back of the spoon to make decorative swirls.  Place the cake in a cake keeper or cover with a large bowl or pot.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving or can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Set cake out of refrigerator an hour before serving time.  To make a pretty presentation, garnish with fresh mint leaves and a few fresh berries; I believe raspberries are the prettiest.
    Yield: 12 servings.                                  

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