A Slightly Imperfect, But Everso Tasty, Swirly Whirly Cranberry Cheesecake

As you know, I love words. So I went to town on choosing the perfect name for my cheesecake the other day. And this is what I came up with!

“A slightly imperfect, but everso tasty, swirly whirly cranberry cheesecake” sums it up perfectly!

(I also thought of “delightfully decadent cheesecake”, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it…)

And here it is, in all its imperfection! Yum! (Click on the photo to get a closer look!) 😉

I wanted something red, since it’s Valentine’s Day soon. And I wanted to use up some cranberries in my freezer, as it is to be defrosted next week… AND I had a friend coming over for tea. (Excuses, excuses, I know. But I need a good excuse for using all that cream cheese and all those eggs!)

Here’s the recipe:

Slightly imperfect, but everso tasty, swirly whirly cranberry cheesecake

For the cranberry purée (prepare a few hours in advance)
•    2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
•    ½ cup sugar
•    2/3 cup water
•    ½ vanilla pod
•    1 tbsp cornflour
For the crust
•    300g finely ground digestive biscuits
•    90g butter, melted
For the filling
•    900g(!!) cream cheese, room temperature
•    1 cup sugar/vanilla sugar
•    4 large eggs

Cranberry purée
Scrape out vanilla seeds and place with the berries, water and sugar in a large saucepan (including vanilla pod). Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove pod. Mix cornflour with a little cold water. Add cornflour to cranberries and stir well. Cool slightly. Transfer to processor. Puree until smooth. Strain into a bowl. (You should have about 1 cup purée.) Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Line cake pans (either one large 25cm pan or two smaller pans) with greaseproof paper. Blend the digestive biscuits until finely ground. Mix in melted butter. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and a little up the sides of the pans. Chill crust while preparing filling.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in sugar, then eggs one at a time. Pour into prepared crust. Dollop cranberry puree on top and swirl it through the filling, using a teaspoon or knife, to create that swirly whirly effect!
Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 45 mins to 1 hour, depending on size of your pans. Turn the oven off and leave the cake to cool with the oven door ajar. Later remove and leave to cool completely before lifting out of pans and sliding onto a plate.

If you have any cranberries or puree left over, use for decoration!