Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Salted caramel is one of the favourite flavours at the bakery, so we feel you can never have too much of it. Here it is used to make a cheesecake, which would make a delicious pre-Christmas dessert.
- FOR THE CARAMELISED PECANS
- 100g white granulated sugar
- 20 pecan nut halves
- FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
- 110g granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 125ml double cream
- 1 tsp fleur de sel
- FOR THE CHEESECAKE BASE
- 300g Rich Tea biscuits
- 150g unsalted butter, melted
- 10 caramelised pecans (see above)
- FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
- 550g cream cheese, softened
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 80g butter, melted
- 150ml sour cream
First make the caramelised pecans. Place the pecans closely together on a lined baking tray and set aside. Gently heat the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan on the hob until the sugar has melted and is a pale golden colour. Pour the melted sugar over the pecans, covering them completely. Leave to cool.
Now make the caramel sauce. Note: This is a very hot liquid, so please be careful when making it. Place the sugar and water in a clean medium pan. Place it over a medium heat on the hob. Do not stir as this will cause the sugar syrup to crystallise. Swirl the pan occasionally and gently until all the sugar has dissolved. Then turn the heat up to high and let the syrup boil until it becomes a lovely caramel colour.
While the sugar syrup is boiling, pour the cream into a separate pan and add the fleur de sel. Heat gently for about a minute, to take the chill off it, and remove from the heat. Do not allow it to boil.
Once the sugar syrup is ready, remove it from the heat and immediately add a small portion of the warmed cream. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Be careful when adding the cream, as it will bubble up and rise very quickly and let off a lot of hot steam and may splutter. Add the remainder of the cream in small amounts. Keep stirring while the cream is being added.
Pour the sauce into a bowl and set it aside to cool.
To make the base, grease a 25cm, ideally springform, cake tin and line with parchment paper. Place the biscuits and caramelised pecans into a food processor and pulse until they resemble breadcrumbs. Place in a large bowl, then pour in the melted butter and mix until it is thoroughly combined. Press this mixture evenly into the base of the tin. Put it into the fridge to set while preparing the filling.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C (fan)/gas mark 3. Pour 600ml of boiling water into a roasting tray and place it on the bottom rack of the oven.
Put the cream cheese and sugar into a bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and well combined. Add the eggs, vanilla, melted butter and sour cream and mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Pour this mixture on top of the chilled base and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of salted caramel sauce on top of the filling. Using a skewer, gently swirl the sauce into the filling to create a marbled effect.
Place the tin in the middle rack of the oven, above the pan of hot water. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove the pan of hot water from the oven.
Turn the heat down to 150°C/130°C (fan)/ gas mark 2 and bake for a further 30–40 minutes, or until the top is set, light golden brown in colour and an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the cheesecake starts to brown before it has set, cover it with foil to prevent further browning.
Once you have removed the cheesecake from the oven, let it cool in the tin. Then put it into the refrigerator to chill, preferably overnight.
To serve, drizzle some more of the salted caramel sauce on top. Roughly chop the rest of the caramelised pecans and sprinkle them all over the cheesecake. PB