I was wondering what cheese cake to make and was running out of options as we did not want any chocolate or coffee and neither did we have any fresh fruits that pair well with creamcheese. after rummaging around for some ideas I decided to give the caramel sauce a try. It was a particularly cold day and the idea of a warm comforting caramel sauce topped on a decadent cheesecake sounded inviting. I went one step ahead by mixing half of the caramel sauce in the cheesecake batter itself, making it richer and saved the other half to be topped up while serving.
Making caramel sauce sounded like a daunting task, especially given how they show hardened bakers failing to get it right in the first attempt on reality TV, I decided to push through with the experiment. To my delight, I could manage it very well for the first attempt. I think it could have been a bit lighter in colour, may be I took it too far, but in the end it did taste divine!
Digestive biscuits 120 gms
Caster sugar 1 or 2 tablespoons
Butter 60 grams, melted
Cream cheese 500gms
Plain flour 1 tablespoon
3/4th to 1 cup Caster sugar (120-140 grams)
3/4th cup Sour cream (or full fat cream with 1 tablespoon lime juice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the sauce
3/4th cup soft brown sugar
1 to 1.5 tablespoons butter
3-4 tablespoons cream or milk
For cream topping
Full fat whipping cream 200 grams
Icing sugar 50 grams
2 spoons of caramel sauce
Pour brown sugar on a heavy bottomed pan and switch on the heat from low to medium, keep stirring occasionally and let the sugar melt.
As the sugar starts melting, add butter and milk in small additions and continue to whisk vigorously to avoid forming lumps
The mixture will initially bubble, then thicken and glow in a shiny glaze. Switch off the heat and reserve for use, if the sauce begins to solidify, just re-heat on a very low flame
Prepare the spring foam tin - butter the sides, place baking paper on the bottom on the tin. Cover the outside edge of the tin with 2-3 layers of foil paper - the cheesecake will be placed in a water bath for baking. The foil paper allows the cake to be baked without water seeping in from the springfoam pan.
To begin with the crust, crush digestive biscuits in a bowl, mix sugar and add melted butter. Crush with your hands till it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Press into prepared springfoam baking pan and bake for 5 mins in a preheated oven at 180 degrees
Leave aside to cool
Part 2 - Cake filling
In a bowl beat cream cheese till soft and smooth, about 5 mins when mixing by hand.
Add sugar and continue beating softly, I did not use my blender as it may be too fast for cream cheese
Add one egg at a time until well blended
Add sour cream, flour, vanilla extract and about 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce
Pour the cheesecake mixture on the biscuit base
Tap the sides gently to ease out any air bubbles. The top should be smooth and free of any lumps
Total baking time is 45-50 minutes. However, temperature of the oven needs to be gradually reduced during this time. for the first 25 minutes, bake at 180 degrees. Then reduce oven temperature to 170 degrees. After 10 minutes reduce oven temperature to 160 degrees and finally after another 10 minutes reduce to 150 degrees.
At this point, we have passed 45 minutes of baking time and the cake must be almost ready.The top should appear to be golden yellow. If it appears to be browning too much cover the top with a foil. We are looking for a cake which is leaving the tin from the sides but still has a little wobble in the centre.
After 10 minutes (55 min of total baking time), switch off the oven and leave cake in the oven for another one hour
For a perfect cheesecake without any cracks, the temperature needs to be lowered gradually. Any sudden dip in the surrounding temperature will lead to a cracked top
After one hour, open the oven door with cake still in
Once the oven is completely cooled down, take the cake out and leave on a table top until it is at room temperature
Chill the cake in fridge over night or minimum 6-8 hours
For the topping
Before you serve, whip full fat cream with sugar until soft peaks are formed and spread evenly above the cheesecake
Top with a few swirls of caramel sauce and more for drizzling