Monday, June 14, 2010

Caramel Honeycomb Cheesecake

Okay, so I admit it, I have never baked a cheesecake before. Never. I ate a beautiful cheesecake at a friend’s house last week, so I was inspired to make my own.

One recipe website that I refer to on a regular basis, is I have tried many recipes from this website, and none of them have ever failed me.

For my cheesecake, I decided to trial their Caramel Honeycomb Cheesecake recipe. I am not usually a fan of baked cheesecakes, but this one was nice. The texture was beautiful. It was soft and creamy on the palette. The caramel taste was lacking though, and the violet crumble was almost non existent. I did make a few amendments to the original recipe (see notes), and if I were to make it again, I would probably include an additional violet crumble, and possibly serve it with a caramel sauce to bring out the flavours in the cake.

Caramel Honeycomb Cheesecake
250g packet Scotch Finger (shortbread style) biscuits
95g butter, melted (the amount you need may vary, depending on the type of biscuits you use

20g butter
62ml (1/4 cup) thickened cream (35 percent fat)
62ml (1/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
60g (1/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 tablespoon (20ml) golden syrup

100g chocolate coated honeycomb bars (we use two 50g Violet Crumble bars)
500g cream cheese, softened
90g (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) caster sugar
3 large eggs (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
126g (1/2 cup) sour cream
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream (35 percent fat)
1 tablespoon (20ml) lemon juice

Place honeycomb bars in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to harden.

You will need a round springform cake pan with a diameter of 20cm (top inside measurement) and a depth of at least 6cm. Grease the base and side of the pan. Line the base and side of the pan with non-stick baking paper.

Finely crush the biscuits in a food processor or blender. If you used a food processor to crush the biscuits, add the melted butter to the biscuit crumbs and process until well combined. If you used a blender, it is probably easier to tip the biscuit crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter.

Firmly press the biscuit mixture over the base and up the sides of the prepared pan (we use the back of a spoon to do this). Cover the pan and refrigerate while preparing caramel and filling.

To make the caramel, place 20g butter, 1/4 cup cream, condensed milk, brown sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and stir constantly for about 4-5 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent the caramel catching on the base of the saucepan. The mixture should thicken slightly.

Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position, so the centre of the cheesecake will be in the centre of the oven.

Gently hit unopened packets of honeycomb bars with the smooth side of a meat mallet until bars are crushed into small pieces. Empty the honeycomb into a small bowl and set aside until required.

Using an electric mixer, electric hand-held beaters, or a food processor, beat cream cheese and caster sugar together in a large bowl. Stop the machine occasionally and use a spatula to scrape the side and base of the bowl. Beat until the mixture is completely smooth.

Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.

Add the sour cream, cream, lemon juice and cooled caramel mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until the ingredients are well combined.

Pour half of the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit base.

Sprinkle crushed honeycomb over cheesecake mixture.

Spoon the remaining cheesecake mixture over the honeycomb.

Place the cheesecake on a baking tray to catch any butter that may leak from the springform pan. Bake cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheesecake may be cracked and risen; it should still be wobbly in the centre.

Allow cheesecake to cool in the pan for two hours at room temperature.

Leave cheesecake in the pan, and place in an airtight container or cover pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely cold.

Remove from pan and cut into slices to serve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes: For the base, i used 200g of Granita biscuits and 75g of butter. I only covered the base of the tin, and did not go up the sides.

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