This cheesecake is indeed festive, but makes a perfect celebration dessert anytime time of year.
Cranberry Topping & Assembly
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and grease a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan.
For the crust, stir the cookie crumbs, cinnamon ginger and melted butter together until evenly combined. Press this into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes (there will be no visible difference once baked). Set this aside to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF (150ºC). Using electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed to soften it. Add the sugar gradually while beating, stopping to occasionally scrape down the bowl. Add the sour cream and beat on high speed, again, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat in the cornstarch and vanilla. Have the eggs and yolk in a small dish and add these to the cream cheese one at a time on low speed, waiting until the first is fully blended in before adding the next. Beat in the white chocolate on low speed and fold in the cranberries by hand. Scrape the cheesecake over the cooled crust, place on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes, until the cheesecake jiggles just in the centre when gently moved. If the outside edge of the cheesecake begins to soufflé as the cheesecake bakes, crack the oven door as you finish baking it. Let the cheesecake cool on a rack to room temperature (this can take 3 hours – check the temperature by touching the bottom of the pan, not the sides) and then chill overnight (at least 6 hours).
While the cheesecake is baking or cooling, prepare the cranberry topping. Place the cranberries, sugar, water and vanilla in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the cranberries have “popped.” Set aside to cool and then chill until ready to assemble.
To assemble, run a palette knife around the inside edge of the pan and release the springform ring. Use a palette knife to loosen the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan and slide it onto a serving platter or stand. Top the cheesecake with the cranberry compote and use a vegetable peeler to shave white chocolate curls overtop. If you wish, sprinkle a few silver dragées for sparkle.