Gingerbread Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

1 3/4 cups Walkers shortbread crumbs (two 5.3 oz packages)
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, melted

CHEESECAKE FILLING

24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs

MOUSSE TOPPING

1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp molasses
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

WHIPPED CREAM

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

CRUST

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in. Set prepared pan aside.

CHEESECAKE FILLING AND TOPPING

5. Reduce oven to 300°F (148°C).
6. In a large mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until well combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Add the sour cream, molasses, vanilla extract and spices and mix on low speed until well combined.
8. Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
9. Pour the cheesecake filling into crust and spread evenly.
10. Place springform pan (covered with aluminum foil) inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
11. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
12. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes.
13. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
14. Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
15. When cheesecake has chilled and is firm, make the mousse topping. Add heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, molasses and spices to a large mixer bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
16. Set the whipped cream aside and in another bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
17. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese until well combined.
18. With the cheesecake still in the springform pan, pour the mousse on top and spread into an even layer.
19. Set in the fridge for another 1-2 hours, until mousse is firm, then remove from the springform pan.
20. Add the ingredients for the whipped cream to a large mixer bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
21. Pipe whipped cream around the edges of the cheesecake and decorate with gingerbread men. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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