Caramel vanilla bean baked cheesecake
A bit of a special dessert I made for Ant’s work recently. Sweet, vanilla flavoured, ever so slightly tangy cheesecake with gooey caramel topping on a chocolate base.
I had to grab a slice for myself though, in the interests of full disclosure for the blog so here ’tis (the things I do for you lovely readers!).
Recipe for caramel cheesecake:
350g chocolate chip cookies
120g unsalted butter, melted
220g Jersey caramel candies (the soft ones)
150mls light thickened cooking cream
1kg full fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
200g raw caster sugar
2 x 20ml level tblspns plain flour, sifted
5 large eggs (59g whole weight)
90mls double cream
1 tspn vanilla bean paste or 1 scraped vanilla bean
1 tspn vanilla essence
Sprinkling of lemon zest
Take out cream cheese to sit at room temperature until soft.
Grease with butter very well, a 23cm round cheesecake tin with a removable base. Place tin on two sheets of foil and wrap tightly from the base to the sides in case of drips while baking.
Place biscuits in a processor and grind until fine. Add ground biscuits to a large mixing bowl and add butter gradually, combining with a wooden spoon until it’s the texture of damp sand (you may not need to add all the butter). Press mixture evenly into base and up the sides of prepared pan and place in fridge for 30-40 minutes.
Take out the rest of the cold ingredients to come to room temperature.
Place caramels and cream in a small, heavy based saucepan over high/medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until mixture is smooth and of thick pouring consistency – lower heat if mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 180gC (170C fan forced).
Using an electric mixer on medium speed (I used speed 4 on the Kitchenaid), beat softened cream cheese, sugar and sifted flour for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. On low speed, beat in cream, vanilla bean paste, essence and zest until combined, light in texture and smooth (don’t over-beat the mixture). I usually finish off by folding mixture with a spatula.
Pour mixture into cheesecake base, smoothing and leveling the top with a butter knife. Drizzle teaspoonfuls of caramel over top of cheesecake and use a skewer to swirl through the surface of the cake – use around 1/4 to 1/3 for the top of the cake and keep the rest.
Place cheesecake on shallow baking tray and bake for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 120C (110C fan forced) and continue baking for 60-75 minutes or until set around the edges and centre is still a bit wobbly.
Allow to cool completely at room temperature in the tin then slide butter knife around sides of cheesecake, remove sides of tin carefully and place in the fridge covered overnight or at least a few hours before serving.
Serve with extra caramel sauce – before using, bring to room temperature and stir briskly.
Inspired by: Joy of baking