20 chocolate biscuits of choice (eg. Oreos or bourbon Creams)
60g Avonmore Butter, melted
For the filling:
4 x 170g packs of soft cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp cocoa powder
230g sour cream
2 tsp vinegar
60ml Avonmore Buttermilk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
60ml red food colouring
For the topping:
100g Avonmore Freshly Whipped Cream
200g fresh cranberries
Preheat the oven to 170˚C/150˚C fan/gas mark 3 and place a circle of parchment paper into the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin.
In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust and mix together until the mixture resembles damp sand.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared cake tin. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool slightly.
Cover the outsides of the cake tin thoroughly with tin foil and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 150˚C/130˚C fan/gas mark 2.
In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder together with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each.
Stir in the sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk, vanilla extract and red food colouring. Beat on low speed until well combined, then transfer the filling into the cake tin.
Tap the tin sharply on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Place the cake tin inside a larger baking dish. Fill the baking dish with enough warm water to reach about halfway up the sides of the cake tin, making sure the water level is below the top of the tin foil. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven, with the door closed, for a further 30 minutes.
Crack the oven door open and leave the cheesecake in there for another 20-25 minutes or until set. Remove cheesecake from the oven and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
To make the sugared cranberries, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cranberries until well coated. Transfer the berries to a wire rack using a slotted spoon, and allow to dry for at least one hour.
To decorate, place the whipped cream in a freezer bag and carefully snip off a small corner to form a piping bag. Beginning at the edge of the top of the cake, pipe small rosettes of cream all the way around in a circle. Begin again immediately inside this circle and pipe another circle of rosettes.
Fill the inside of the cream circle with sugared cranberries and garnish the centre with a sprig of holly, if desired.