Nadiya Hussain's Back-to-front Baked Cheesecake

Wow your dinner party guests with Nadiya Hussain's clever back-to-front cheesecake, topped with chocolate, chopped nuts and a honey salted caramel. As seen on Nadiya's BBC series, Nadiya's Family Favourites.

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Introduction

A simple baked cheesecake is one my favourite desserts. It can sit in the fridge and be enjoyed over the course of a week, and that ultimate slice is the best slice of all. But sometimes I feel shortchanged by the base. It’s nice enough, but often I want something more. So here I’ve baked a cheesecake without any base at all, and instead topped it with honey salted caramel and a chocolaty tiffin mixture. It’s essentially a flipped-over version of the classic, but in my opinion all the best cakes are a little back to front!

Serves 9
Prep time:

Ingredients

For the cheesecake:
butter, for greasing
900g full-fat cream cheese
200g caster sugar
150ml soured cream
3 tbsp plain flour
3 medium eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the honey salted caramel:
50g butter
170g set honey
300ml double cream
½ tsp salt
For the tiffin crumble:
150g digestives, roughly crushed
75g unsalted butter
30g demerara sugar
50g dark chocolate chips or chunks
50g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Essential kit

You will need: a 20cm round cake tin.

Instructions

Prep time: 25 mins, plus cooling and chilling. Cook time: 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3. Grease the base of a 20cm round cake tin (it mustn’t be loose-bottomed, imagine the leakage!), and line it with baking paper.

Put the cream cheese, sugar, soured cream, flour, eggs and vanilla paste into a large bowl and give it all a good mix, just for a minute or so, until it is well combined. You don’t want to mix for too long and incorporate any air.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, tap it on the worktop to release any trapped air, then level the surface. Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 1 hour.

As soon as the hour is up, open the oven door, leaving it slightly ajar. Pop a wooden spoon in the door to keep it just open and let out the heat slowly. Now turn the oven off.

Don’t take the cheesecake out until the oven is completely cold. This recipe is more about patience than anything else. (Something I am generally not good at!)

Once the oven is cool, there’s more waiting, I’m afraid. Put the cheesecake into the fridge to chill overnight.

Next day, it’s time to make the honey salted caramel. Put the butter into a small pan on a medium heat. As soon as it has melted, add the honey and cook on a medium to high heat for 10 minutes, until the caramel is a golden brown. If it starts to catch, just turn the heat down slightly. After 10 minutes, pour in the cream, give it a mix and allow it to just come up to the boil. Take off the heat and stir in the salt. Set aside.

To make the tiffin crumble, put the biscuits into a zip-lock bag and crush them very roughly. I like a good mix of big pieces, small bits and lots of crumbs. Empty them into a bowl.

Melt the butter and pour it on to the biscuits. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes, while you take the cheesecake out of the fridge and turn it out on to a serving plate or platter.

Add the sugar, chocolate and hazelnuts to the buttery biscuit chunks.

Now for the back-to-front bit. Put the tiffin mixture on top of the cheesecake, but not in any neat fashion or packed tightly, just piled on top in peaks and troughs.

Reheat the caramel if it has cooled too much, and pour over the cheesecake.

For any of you who have had past cheesecakes fly across the table from the sheer brute force of fighting to cut a tight biscuit base, you are welcome!

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