Who doesn’t like cheesecake! Cheesecake is indulgent on so many layers (pardon the pun) – the crunchy base, the creamy filling, the sweet/fruity/other topping – and this a perfect example. I’ve always been more of a fan of chilled cheesecake, as you can’t beat the smooth creaminess, but baked cheesecakes are winning over my heart. And here’s one to win over yours. The ever popular salted caramel adorning a vanilla filling and shortbread base – yum yum yum!
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
for the base
- 60g unsalted butter
- 200g shortbread biscuits
for the filling
- 500g full fat soft cheese
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 150ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (with seeds)
for the salted caramel
- 200g caster sugar
- 140ml double cream
- 40g unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon flaked sea salt
for the decoration
- dark or milk chocolate, melted
Make the base: place a deep 20cm round loose-bottomed (or springform) cake tin on a sheet of foil and wrap the foil up around the sides to make it watertight. Melt the butter over a low heat in a medium saucepan then remove from the heat. Crush the biscuits in a food processor until fine then stir into the melted butter, mixing until even. Press the biscuit mix evenly into the base of the tin then place in the fridge whilst preparing the filling.
Make the filling: preheat the oven to 170°C (160°C fan)/325°F/gas mark 3. In a large bowl beat the cheese and sugar until smooth using an electric hand mixer (or freestanding, or by hand with a whisk). Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each, then beat in the double cream and vanilla extract. Keep beating until the mixture thickens and starts to hold its shape.
Transfer the cheese mixture to the cake tin, spreading evenly over the biscuit base. Place the tin in a roasting tin and fill the roasting tin with boiling water – the water needs to be about 3cm deep, the same as the cheesecake filling. Bake the cheesecake for 50 minutes until it is set with a slight wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (in the water bath) to room temperature. Once cool, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for a few hours or preferably overnight.
Make the salted caramel: place the sugar in a saucepan with 100ml water and place over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and increase the heat. Bring the syrup to the boil and cook until it turns an amber caramel (this will take a few minutes). While the syrup is boiling, gently heat the cream, butter and salt in a small saucepan until the butter has melted, then remove from the heat.
Once the syrup has turned to caramel, remove from the heat and pour in the cream mixture. Take great caution as the mixture will splatter. As soon as it settles, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. If necessary, place over a low heat to dissolve any lumps. Pour the salted caramel into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool.
To serve: carefully remove the chilled cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Spread the cooled salted caramel evenly over the top of the cheesecake and drizzle over the melted chocolate then serve.