IF you’re cooking for the family this Christmas and want to serve something a little more original than the usual Christmas pud or trifle for dessert, then you really can’t go wrong with a festive cheesecake.

Orange and cinnamon perfectly sum up the traditional flavours and smells of Christmas so this dessert is a perfect seasonal treat at this time of year.

Using a combination of crunchy cookies and soft Jaffa Cakes creates a deliciously textured base which, when topped with the creamy rich filling, makes for a truly spectacular dessert. Finish with a few seasonal berries and a dusting of icing sugar to really impress your guests.

I like to serve mine with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream - naughty but very nice….

Festive Orange & Cinnamon Cheesecake

(serves 8)

For the base

400g chocolate chip cookies

2 packs of Jaffa Cakes

100g butter, melted

For the caramel

50ml orange juice

150g sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

5 medium oranges

For the filling

900g mascarpone

1 tsp. cinnamon

50g sugar

Chocolate and/or toffee sauce to decorate

Preheat the oven to 200c/375F/Gas 5

Crush the cookies to create a reasonably fine crumble consistency using a blender or rolling pin and mix together with the butter. Grease a 20cm cake tin and spread the cookie mixture evenly on the bottom.

Layer the Jaffa Cakes on top of the cookie base, overlapping them slightly until completely covered. Refrigerate for an hour until the base has set.

Next, grate the zest of the oranges and set aside before slicing the fruit.

Gently heat the sugar and orange juice in a pan until dissolved, stirring frequently until the mixture starts to thicken and darken and turns into a light caramel. Stir in the cinnamon and half the orange zest and transfer to an oven proof bowl.

Layer the orange slices into the caramel and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the fruit has softened. Remove from the oven, discard the orange slices and allow the syrup to cool.

To make the filling, place the sugar, cinnamon and remaining orange zest in a large bowl.

Add the cooled orange syrup and the mascarpone and gently fold the ingredients together taking care not to over-mix or beat otherwise the cheesecake will not set (it only needs to be lightly combined).

Spoon the mixture over the Jaffa Cake and cookie base and roughly smooth down. Swirl the chocolate and toffee sauce over the top to create whatever pattern you wish and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until set.