OK I know, it sounds crazy sinful. But it’s one of the most decadent baked cheesecake I’ve made. I don’t usually make baked cheesecake cause they’re usually either too heavy or dense. OK I know, they’re quite meant to be that way but surprisingly, this cheesecake, it was packed but the texture is pillowy, silky and really melt-in-the-mouth. Yum, I can feel it in my mouth as I’m typing it despite making it quite some time ago *tummy rumbles*
So I actually combined a couple of recipes together. I used Tartelette’s Pillow Cheesecake with Salted Butter Caramel and The British Larder’s Peanut Honeycomb idea. I like the idea of making rustic desserts lately. Throw everything on top and make it homey, country-ish, rustic instead of placing every bit of decoration precisely on every 1/12 of the cake. OK maybe I’m just lazy sometimes. We could appreciate some “rustic”ness sometimes right? Even better when sauce / chocolate / cream flows down by the side of the cake… !!
OK If you realized, it’s the same plate from the Piece Montee. Ok lar I don’t have much flat plates to work with. Anyways, forget me mentioning that, let’s get back to the cake.
For the cheesecake base, I followed exactly in Tartelette’s recipe. It’s actually a shortbread base, not sponge, not digestive biscuits, neither crackers.
Chocolate Shortbread Base
250 gr. butter, very cold, cubed small
85 gr. sugar
300 gr. flour
25 gr. cacao powder
Preheat the oven to 350F / 175 C.Work the butter, sugar, flour and cacao with a food processor or your fingers to get a sandy mixture.
Work the dough for a minute. Divide the dough in half. Reserve one half to make shortbread cookie or refrigerate for another time.
Press one half into the bottom of a 10 or 12 inch springform pan. Bake for 40 minutes.Let cool completely.
*make sure the butter is very cold, put in the freezer after you’ve cubed it small. Well I actually just used half of the entire recipe because I probably won’t be making cookies or any other cakes with it any soon, knowing that this cake would feed us quite a bit. But it makes a nice shortbread if you wanna have some extras for afternoon tea.
2 pounds (approx 900g) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter (115 gr), softened
1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream (or yoghurt)
1 cup sugar
2 Tb. cornstarch, sifted
zest of one lemon
Combine the cream cheese, butter, sugar, lemon zest, creme fraiche and cornstarch in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until combine. Do not incorporate too much air or the cake will crack.
Make sure the cream cheese and butter are very soft. Add the egg yolks one at a time and whip just until combined.
Whip the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold them in the cream cheese batter.
Pour the batter over the chocolate shortbread crust. The batter will reach the rim of the cake.
Wrap your springform pan with heavy duty aluminium foil, set it in a large roasting pan, add enough hot water to come up halfway up the side of the pan. Bake at 325F / 160 C for 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the oven off, crack the door of the oven open and let your cake cool in there for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate completely for a few hours or better yet overnight.
The top of the batter was actually quite nice, it didn’t turn very brown like some cheesecakes do. It didn;t crack either. The only thing I made a mistake was the foil was touching the top of the cheesecake batter (means, I overfilled) Hence when I lifted the foil off, some cakes went along with it as well. Oh well at least I get to try some without cutting the cake first. You know how bad temptation can be. Especially with baked cheesecakes, it’s better to chill them a couple of hours prior to slicing them. I wouldn’t resist and would just slice it off anyway Haha
The cheesecake was baked, cooled, chilled. Then I made the salted butter caramel sauce and peanut honeycomb. For the salted butter caramel, Hahaha I tell you, I still have half a container left. I basically use it for my vanilla ice cream, or even cupcakes!! and secretly, cream puffs.
Salted Butter Caramel Sauce,
240 gr. sugar
80 ml water
115 gr salted butter
heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt (added myself)
In a heavy saucepan set over low heat, combine the sugar, salt and water and heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter. Let it come to a boil and cook until it reaches a golden caramel color.
Remove from the heat and add the cream ( it will splatter and get crazy, but do not fear and trust the recipe). Whisk to combine and put back on the stove.
Let it come to a boil again over low heat and cook 10-15 minutes until you reach a nice creamy consistency. Pour into a jar and try to refrain yourself from drinking it!
I thought, might as well add in more salt since salted butter here is not so salty anyway. 😀
At this point, (if you’re actually reading from the top) you’d probably think, so tedious or so “mahfan” (means tedious in chinese) or “why can’t I just bake the cheesecake?”. I’ll tell you what, it’s just so worth it to have a little more condiments or entremets or something extra to go along with it. The salted butter caramel sauce could be just sufficient for the luscious cheesecake, but I wanted to have a little more texture to it, hence the peanut honeycomb, from The British Larder.
200g caster sugar
75g golden syrup
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g lightly salted peanuts
Scatter the salted peanuts over a parchment lined baking tray and set aside.
Weigh the sugar and golden syrup into a medium size saucepan, over low heat melt the sugar, do not stir, just jiggle the pan, once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and let the caramel boil until a deep caramel colour, not too dark as it will taste burned. (1st bottom pic)
Remove the pan from the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda, stir quickly as the caramel will bubble vigorously and expand (2nd bottom pic), quickly pour the frothing mass over the salted peanuts and leave to cool completely.
I think I may have overbeaten the mass too as my peanut honeycomb came a bit flat. So just mix till bicarb of soda and caramel is well mixed, you’re good to go. Don’t get carried away by the bubbles 😉
To assemble, remove cheesecake from springform pan onto a plate or serving dish. Break peanut honeycomb and scatter all around on top of the cheesecake.
Melt some chocolate over bain marie or in the microwave on low heat and drizzle on top. Then fill in caramel sauce in a piping bag or plastic, then cut a small hole at the corner edge of the plastic, and drizzle all over the cake. Be artistic with it ok. HAHA ok I’m kidding. Then sprinkle some icing sugar, well, for some rusticness.
Serve with more peanut honeycomb and caramel sauce 😛
I would say, it fits a 12″ pan much better, though the lightness of the cheesecake texture wouldn’t refrain it from being taller than other baked cheesecake, but it just cooks faster and more evenly.
Have a lovely weekend =D