Cheesecake is very 80's, but hey I loved the '80's and would never turn down cheesecake, so how do you make this creamy luscious dessert new again? With a twist on the whole sweet and salty phenomenon. Using brown sugar in the filling gives the cheesecake a deep caramel flavour that cannot be matched. The combination of ricotta and creamed cheese lightens it up for a less dense and filling dessert so you have room for a slice after an incredible meal. Top it with sea salt flakes, a velvety smooth caramel sauce and a silky cream topping and you have a dessert that will keep them talking.
One of our simple pleasures in life is navigating the blogging community and participating where we can. Our group has now passed the halfway point on the list of Gourmet Live's 50 Women Game Changers. The past six months have flown by as we experimented with dishes from each of the 50 influential women on "the list." Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire. There have even a few successful bloggers on the list. We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is spearheaded by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who back in June invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. It is still not too late to join in in 2012, so if you would like to learn new techniques and be creative in the kitchen please contact Mary.
Mary of One Perfect Bite - Pork and Fennel Meat Ball
Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Susan of The Spice Garden - Sticky Chinese Chicken
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed
Heather of Girlichef - Buttermilk-Cinnamon Banana Breads
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney - Caramelized Pear and Rocket Salad
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living - Vietnamese Noodle Soup
Linda of There and Back Again - French Onion Soup
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Polenta, Mozzarella andTomato Salad
Nancy of Picadillo - Lemon Fish Cakes
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits - White Dip Bean Dip
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen - Brownies
Annie at Most Lovely Things - Baked Mozzarella and Tomato Dip with Lebanese Crisps.
Claudia of Journey of an Italian Cook - Risotto with Roasted Vegetables or Roasted Cauliflower
Alyce of More Time at The Table - Ricotta, Chive and Prosciutto Omelettes
But on to the recipe.....In reading the forums I realized that people had trouble with the base of the cheesecake. The taste team whipped up the salted caramel and vanilla baked cheesecake again after it was reported there were differing results depending on the biscuits used for the crust. They found the best biscuits to use were digestives or buttery biscuits, such as shortbread.
What I had trouble with was in the deciphering of a recipe from another country. For the topping I used what in the recipe was referred to as "single pouring" cream. To me that would mean table cream (which in my heart of hearts I knew would not whip up into pillowy clouds). In my lack of judgement I went with it and ruined the cheesecake for photos so this is why you have the magazines photo above. When I make this cheesecake again, and there will be a next time, I will use whipping cream and use the bakers trick for preventing the whipped cream from separating over time and add 1-2 teaspoons of powdered milk to the whipping process. This cheesecake made all of my cheesecake dreams come true.
**Salted Caramel and Vanilla Cheesecake**
- 500g plain sweet shortbread biscuits
- ½ cup (60g) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 150g butter, melted
- 350g ricotta
- 500g cream cheese
- 1 cup (175g) brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream (must need to use whipping cream and add 1- 2 teaspoons powdered milk)
- 1 cup (240g) sour cream
- 1 tablespoon icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
- sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
- 1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream (light cream)
- 60g butter, chopped
- 1 cup (175g) brown sugar
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the biscuits and almond meal in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the butter and process to combine. Press the biscuit mixture into the base and sides of a lightly greased 22cm springform cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Place the ricotta and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 5–6 minutes or until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for 3–4 minutes or until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the golden syrup, table salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the biscuit shell. Place the tin in a baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the tin. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove cheesecake from the baking dish and allow to cool in the tin. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
Place the (whipping) cream, sour cream, icing sugar and remaining vanilla in a bowl (along with 1-2 teaspoons of powdered milk)and whisk until soft peaks form. Top the cheesecake with the cream, drizzle with the caramel sauce and sprinkle with sea salt flakes to serve.
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