Recipe – Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

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Christmas is over, and now is the time when I will have to stop ignoring the fat content of my food and start eating a bit sensibly. Also, if you read my New Year’s post, you’ll know that I’m giving up dairy for health reasons. HOWEVER – my dairy abstinence started on New Year’s Day, and I made and ate this at Christmas, so it’s fine!

This recipe was one I made for Christmas Day as an alternative to the traditional pud. It’s originally from the Hummingbird Bakery (a must-visit next time I go to London!), but I’ve adapted it a little, as usual. I seem unable to properly stick to a recipe. But, hey. It turns out ok most of the time!

This is a baked cheesecake. In the past I’ve been a little wary of baked cheesecakes as there’s so much that can go wrong… This one turned out brilliantly. It’s cooked in a water bath to stop the top from cracking and make sure that the cheesecake cooks evenly. Don’t be put off by the water bath, it’s nothing to be scared of! My only tip would be if you are using a loose-bottomed tin, make sure that the tin is wrapped securely in several layers of kitchen foil, to stop any water from seeping in and ending up with a soggy bottom.

The original recipe called for the base to be made out of digestive biscuits, but I only had Oreos, so used them instead. So, here we go…

Ingredients

220g Oreo biscuits
100g unsalted butter or Stork, melted
700g cream cheese eg Philidelphia
120g caster sugar
3 large eggs
50g dulce de leche – I used tinned Carnation Caramel
50g dark chocolate, melted
Another 4 tbsp caramel, as above

Method

— Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Using a loose-bottomed 20cm cake tin, line the base with greaseproof paper, then wrap the tin as above in kitchen foil. Make sure the whole outside of the tin is covered in at least 3 layers of foil to prevent any water from getting in.

— Tip the biscuits into a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Mix the crumbs with the melted chocolate and press into the base of the tin. Pop it in the fridge whilst you make the rest of the cheesecake (at least 20 minutes).

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— Put the cream cheese and caster sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat together on a medium speed until smooth. You can obviously use a bowl and spoon if you don’t have a stand mixer! With the mixer still going, add the eggs one at a time until combined. Set aside one third of the mixture. Add the tinned caramel to the remaining mixture and pour it onto the biscuit base. The mixture will be quite runny.

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— Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate to the reserved cheesecake mixture. Pour into the tin on top of the caramel mixture, then use a skewer, or the end of a knife to swirl the two together.

— Fill a roasting tin with hot water and place the cheesecake tin into it to form your water bath. The water should come about an inch from the top of the tin. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes. The cheesecake will be done when the top is firm to the touch but the cheesecake has a little wobble to it. Remove the foil and leave it to cool completely in the tin, and put in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

!

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— For the final touch, spread the 4 tbsp caramel over the top with a pallette knife, if you have one.

There you have it, Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cheesecake! Not fot the faint hearted, the healthy or the lactose intolerant, but a great dessert for a dinner party

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