Sunday, 24 March 2013

Salted Caramel Cheesecake (Happy Birthday Nicole!)

| | 13 comments
Posted by Claire:

Last Wednesday we celebrated Nicole's birthday! I was gonna be overseas on the actual date (28th march btw), so we decided to have an exclusive birthday celebration for her among the three of us in advance :-) Deciding on what cake to bake proved to be a challenge. We initially settled on a chocolate mud cake because nicole asked for it specifically. Kj even came up with some specific layering details of the mud cake and planned the overall design of the cake, toppings/icing and all. But then the idea of salted caramel cheesecake came up. And how could we resist that right?

Salted caramel cheesecake is every bit as good as it sounds. Slightly bitter undertones of the salted caramel perfectly complement the sweetness of the cheesecake and its buttery crust, creating a symphony of flavours you'd never expect to taste in such a deceptively simple cake. And not to forget the perfect texture of the cheesecake. But be warned, this is not a cake that comes without a time-consuming price. We took a total of about 6 hours to have the cake ready to serve. However, despite the grueling hours of waiting (we took a nap after baking the cake haha) and the kinda big hole it burnt in our pockets (cream cheese is costly and the recipe required 4 blocks of it...), just having a taste of the unique flavours of this cake, accented with dripping salted caramel sauce, is really worth all that. 



Recipe adapted from Simplyrecipes
Ingredients:

Crust
2 cups of digestive biscuit crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
70 g unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted

Filling
900 g cream cheese, room temperature
270 g granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
160 ml sour cream
160 ml heavy whipping cream

Salted caramel 
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
Fine sea salt


Procedure:

Prepare the crust
1. Place the spring form pan in the middle of a large square of aluminium foil and gently fold up the sides of the aluminium foil around the pan. This is to ensure that water doesn't get into the pan and ruin the crust during the water bath. A second layer of foil can be used as a precaution. 

2. Preheat oven to 176°C. Pulse the digestive biscuits in a food processor until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Use your (clean) hands to stir in the melted butter. 

3. Put all the digestive biscuit crumbs in the bottom of the spring form pan. Gently press down on the crumbs using your fingers, until the crumbs are a nice even layer at the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 162°C. 

Make the filling

4. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth, soft and creamy. Add the sugar, beat for 4 minutes more. Add the salt and vanilla, beating after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the sour cream, beat until incorporated. Add the heavy cream, beat until incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl, and scrape up any thicker bits of cream cheese that have stuck to the bottom of the mixer that paddle attachment has failed to incorporate. 

Bake the cheesecake

5. Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan. Prepare 8 cups of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the springform pan, over the crust.  Place the roasting pan in the lower third rack of the oven, and place the spring form pan in it. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan, to create a water bath for the cheesecake, pouring until the water reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan.  Cook at 162°C for 1 1/2 hours. 




6. Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven, as the oven cools, for another hour. This gentle cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking. 


7. Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil, so that it doesn't actually touch the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.



Salted caramel
8. In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the corn syrup. Stir in the sugar and cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Off the heat, carefully stir in the butter with a long-handled wooden spoon. Stir in the cream in a thin stream. Transfer the caramel to a heatproof pitcher and let cool. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt.


It will slowly turn to a golden brown colour. 


9. Pour the caramel over the cheesecake and swirl to coat the top. If the caramel is too thick, warm it in a microwave oven at 10-second intervals. Sprinkle with fine sea salt just before serving.


The texture of this cheesecake was superb. It wasn't too dense; it was even light and kind of fluffy. It came with an amazingly rich vanilla-bean + cream cheese flavour. It REALLY tasted amazing and we all loved it so much. Happy birthday to our dearest Nicole! <3

Love,
Claire

13 comments:

  1. My mum tried it and she couldn't believe her tongue (hahaha) you guys baked it!! She thought it was bought.. It was so delicious :))

    Nicole

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  2. Hi! did you pour all of the caramel sauce over the cake? or did you have some leftovers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! There were some leftovers but it's a small amount!

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  3. Hello ForgetThoseCalories! May I know what the dimensions are of the spring form pan you used?

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    Replies
    1. We used a 10" springform pan, but the original recipe asks for a 8"- 9" one. :-)

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  4. Hey, are there any alternatives for the roasting pan?

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    Replies
    1. Yes! We couldn't find a big enough water bath so we used a pie pan. If your springform pan is small enough, you can try using a brownie pan or whatever pan that the springform can fit in!

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  5. Must we use sea salt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, but of course sea salt is of better quality!

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  6. Good Evening laides! i just made the cheesecake, but not the caramel sauce yet. I'm celebrating my sons birthday tomorrow, and i'm thinking of putting the caramel sauce on the cake and the refrigerating it until tmr. Should I do that or is it a must to make the caramel fresh before serving?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! If you do that, the caramel sauce may seep into the cake and the cake's texture would be lost. You can make the caramel sauce beforehand but refrigerate it separately, then pour when you want to serve the cake:-) Tell us how it goes!!!

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  7. Hello! Baked this for my friend's birthday and it was so good! Thank you Forget Those Calories! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! :-) We're so so glad. Happy belated birthday to your friend!

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