Saturday, 13 September 2014

Salted caramel and vanilla baked cheesecake

A SPECIAL occasion calls for celebratory baking and it’s no secret that there is many a sweet tooth residing in The Everyday Baker household.
This particular occasion was Mr Everyday Baker’s birthday and given his choice of birthday cakes, he left it up to the three-year-old who chose a construction chocolate cake complete with a dump truck unloading chocolate ‘boulders’.
I intervened and narrowed the choices down to two and a decision was made, Mr Everyday Baker, who used to not care for sweet things at all (until along came me!), was to have a Salted Caramel and Vanilla Baked Cheesecake.
This recipe was based on a cracker by Donna Hay, who in my humble opinion is a goddess when it comes to creating sweet things.
I just gave it a few tweaks based on our tastes and what was in the fridge, probably more of the latter.
It does take a while so I started it the day before, but it tasted amazing and I think it softened the blow of getting older for a certain birthday boy.
However I fear that construction cake will not be forgotten anytime soon, so stay tuned on that one...

Salted Caramel and Vanilla Baked Cheesecake

500g biscuits (I used Scotch Fingers)
½ cup almond meal
150g butter, melted
250g ricotta
500g cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 cup cream
1 cup mascarpone
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Fruit for decorating (I used strawberries)

1 cup cream
60g butter, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon (or so) sea salt flakes

Make caramel sauce first, by combining all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is melted. Up the heat until it thickens, around five minutes should do it. Allow to cool before adding sea salt flakes.
Blitz biscuits and almond meal until finely crumbed. Add melted butter and process until combined.
Push into a 22cm springform tin lined with baking paper, until firmly pressed into the base and sides. Place in fridge for at least an hour.
In a mixer, whisk ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat until well combined before adding eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Add maple syrup and half of the vanilla paste until well combined.
Pour into tin evenly, before placing the tin into a baking tray and filling that tray with boiling water until tray is filled about halfway. I put it in the oven first and then added the hot water.
Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for an hour and a half until firm, then allow to cool in tin before placing in fridge for a good few hours.
For the topping, whip cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form and spoon on top of cheesecake.

Serve with chopped fruit and drizzled caramel, adding some extra sea salt flakes if desired.

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