So … I put a photo on Instagram at the start of this month as part of Fat Mum Slim’s photo a day challenge for June, Day 3 – on my table. It was a picture of a cheesecake I had made for a family lunch gathering the day before. It was an experiment – the family are generally always the subjects of my experiments – using a go-to white chocolate cheesecake recipe & adding my new obsession, salted coconut sugar caramel. As I was about to slice it up, to send a couple of pieces home for the early leavers, I snapped a quick photo – as you do these days – just because! It was a big hit with the family, but I didn’t give much more thought to the pic after that, until …
Day 3 of the photo challenge rolled around & I thought, as I munched on a slice of left over cheesecake, “hmmm … that’ll do, nothing all that interesting on the table today anyway!”. Not an earth shattering thought I know, BUT, from there I received a flood of responses – well, maybe not that many, but enough to make me feel pretty special anyway! People asked if I had bought it, where the recipe came from & who made it etc.. With that I decided I had best get it up here for everyone who wanted to know about it.
I have to say I am really in love with this particular recipe. I have always loved cooking, as I am sure anyone who stops by here would know by now, but I have always been what I would call a ‘safe’ cook. Rarely if I wanted to make something new, would I deviate from a recipe I might find in my collection & very rarely would I try to cook totally freestyle. Why? Not sure really, I know I can cook & only occasionally do things go awry – (Quince Paste … bad, bad, bad!!) – but I guess I still always worry that I or others will be disappointed & my confidence shattered! Fragile little flower aren’t I!?!? 🙂
When I was younger I always had a pen & paper in hand, scribbling down ideas, stories, pictures – (my drawing … bad, bad, bad!) – my mind was open & willing to play, it was very freeing, especially as life was pretty tough then – lots of teen angst & family drama. At some point though, my mind seemed to close, cloud over & settle firmly in the mundane & practical, flights of fancy only played out vicariously through books & movies. I missed the creative, but I just couldn’t seem to connect with it anymore. It made me sad at times, but as I always say, life just seems to get in the way.
However … since starting this bloggy journey I have noticed my approach to cooking changing. I am less concerned with finding success & more concerned with just creating. The more I cook with this little slice of the internet in mind, the more ideas I have about food & food combinations, the more I am trying different recipes minus the recipe just to see what comes out. There’s an excitement in my approach I have not felt in what seems like forever. I carry around a little note book & pen to jot down ideas & not just shopping lists & I laugh more when I cook with my three year old, rather than focusing on the mess I have to clean up (mostly)!
While I’m no Heston Blumenthal & I don’t quite get the point of ‘deconstructing’ perfectly wonderful food combinations – I do feel like I’ve found the key to open a door I thought might have been locked tight forever! It’s exhilarating, frightening & fun all at the same time & boy am I enjoying the ride! 🙂
So … with no further ado & by popular demand (in my little world anyway!), here’s how it goes;
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar - (or white sugar)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup - (omit if using white sugar)
- 60gm unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons full fat coconut cream - (or pure dairy cream) - don't overdo this, the more cream, then runnier the caramel.
- A big pinch sea salt
- White Chocolate Cheesecake
- 1 packet plain sweet biscuit crumbs - (I like Digestives but you can use which ever you prefer).
- 75g unsalted butter, melted
- 500g Light PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons gelatine powder dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water, cooled
- 200g White Baking Chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup pure cream, softly whipped
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- Using a medium saucepan, mix the coconut sugar & maple syrup over medium high heat until sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from heat & add butter - whisk well to combine.
- Add coconut cream & salt, return to heat.
- Bring mix back to simmer & allow to bubble for about 5 minutes, until it is a shade darker & reduced to about 1 cup liquid - (it should be quite sticky & thickened).
- Remove from heat & allow to cool completely.
- Using a food processor, blend the biscuits to a fine crumb - (if you don't have a food processor, just place biscuits in a strong plastic bag & use a rolling pin or similar to gently tap the biscuits until they crumb).
- Melt butter over medium heat on the stove top, or in heatproof container in the microwave in 20 second increments until melted.
- Combine the butter & crumbs & pulse until well combined.
- Press crumb mix into the base of a lightly greased 22 cm springform pan.
- Allow the base to set - refrigerate or pop into the freezer until ready to add the filling
- Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl & melt over pot of gently simmering water - do not let water touch the bowl or the chocolate will seize. Alternatively you can melt chocolate in the microwave - 30 seconds on HIGH setting, then in 20 second increments until melted.
- Beat the cream until lightly whipped - keep watch & you will see the cream starts to thicken, it is done just as it starts fluff up & come together
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth & glossy.
- Sprinkle gelatine powder over just boiled water - stir well to ensure the gelatine is completely dissolved - allow to stand for a few minutes to cool & check again that it has dissolved.
- Add gelatine to cream cheese mix & stir to combine.
- Add melted chocolate & stir to combine.
- Gently fold through the cream until just combined.
- Pour the filling into the prepared base.
- Finally ...
- Dollop the salted caramel onto the filling – random is good – no real sequence required.
- Using a flat bladed knife or similar, gently drag & twist the caramel through the filling in all directions until a swirl pattern forms – once again, random is good – make it look however you want it to. The deeper the twirling, the deeper the caramel will incorporate into the cheesecake.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months - (good luck getting it to last that long!!!!!) 🙂
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
What do you do to get your creative mojo happening? I’d love to hear about it!
I also rated a very appreciated mention for this recipe, here;