Happy 2014 everybody! Wishing you many wonderful surprises during the year ahead.
I thought I'd kick off the new year with a blog post. Good start, right? I know I haven't shared anything for a while but I'm so thankful to say that it's because I've been unbelievably busy with lots of happy family occasions. And they've given me lots of things to share on the blog, starting with this beauty.
It's a tradition of mine to make a Cheesecake for Christmas Eve. Not only because it's my all time favourite type of cake and I deserve my favourite if I'm baking at Christmas, but because I think it goes really well with the seafood and salad Christmas Eve dinner we also have as a tradition at P11 HQ. And yes, we still do the turkey, ham and pudding thing on Christmas Day - thus the lack of recent blog posts!
I was trying to come up with something a little bit different for this year when like the angel she is, my wonderful friend Ruth gave me a Donna Hay recipe for Salted Caramel and Vanilla Baked Cheesecake she had been holding onto for a while, but hadn't gotten around to making. She's truly a girl after my own heart - I love salted caramel. And I have millions of recipes I've been holding onto for years!!!
|My stash of recipes-to-try!|
With the intention of making the Donna Hay recipe I had been gifted, I went off the day before Christmas Eve to do the grocery shopping. And as soon as I got into the carpark, I realised I'd forgotten to bring it with me. You guessed that was going to happen didn't you?!
Well, there was no way I was going to give up my prize parking spot or make another trip to the second storey of hell that is a supermarket so close to Christmas, so I just had to guess and buy all the things that are usually in a cheesecake.
Of course, they were all wrong.
|My xmas pressie! Also here: http://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/salted-caramel-and-vanilla-baked-cheesecake|
But I'm ecstatic to say that all was well anyway. I improvised with some tried and true shortcuts and it was good. Fabulously, mouth-wateringly good, in fact.
So, enjoy my new year's gift and make this as soon as possible. And don't think of it as breaking any healthy eating resolutions, think of it as achieving your resolution to do more things just for you!!
Salted Caramel CheesecakeWhile this cheesecake looks impressive, it's incredibly easy to make. It needs refrigerating to set though, so make it one day ahead.
250g Arrowroot or other plain biscuits
125g melted butter
500g caramel sweets (such as Pascalls Columbines)
1/4 cup thickened cream
1/4 teaspoon table salt
750g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt flakes for decoration (optional)
Instructions1. To make the base of the cheesecake, process or crush biscuits into crumbs, then add melted butter and mix through. Press mixture over base and sides of a lightly greased 22 cm springform tin. This will give you a thick crust, which I love, but you can use a larger tin and make it thinner if that's what you've got. Refrigerate prepared crust for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the caramel and filling.
2. To make the caramel, place shop-bought caramels and cream in a saucepan on medium heat. The caramels will melt as you stir them through the cream. Add salt and set aside to cool slightly but not harden. Feel free to add more salt at this stage to your taste - I did!
3. Preheat oven to 160C / 325F.
3. To make the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixture (on medium to high speed) until combined. Add eggs one at a time and keep beating after each one is added. Add half of the caramel mixture and beat well to combine, then reduce speed of the mixer and beat until mixture is smooth.
Just a quick note here - if the caramel is too hot when added to the filling, it may seize up slightly. Don't worry, it will combine with the filling when mixed at high speed, and any missed parts will form streaks of caramel in the cheesecake, which is never a bad thing!
4. Pour filling into prepared base and bake for 1 and 1/4 hours. The filling should be firm on the outside but still "wobbly" in the middle if you lightly shake it. When ready, turn off the oven and leave for 10 minutes. Then, refrigerate for 3 hours.
5. Place all of the ingredients for the topping in a large bowl and beat or whisk until soft peaks form. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and the tin, and smooth topping over it. Then drizzle over the remaining caramel sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.