Yes, he just turned quarter of a century old, and what better way to spend a birthday weekend than eating a giant, sticky caramel toffee cheesecake?
Not only does it look sinfully fabulous in all its gooey, sticky, baked glory, it got raving reviews from some of the guinea pigs, not to mention my grateful husband.
It sports a very creamy, rich and delicately caramel flavoured filling, which lies atop a layer of dark chocolate, surrounded by a base that is scattered with chunks of toffee. If you were thinking it couldn't get much better, it does.
On top of all this decadence is a layer of gooey caramel, swirls of cream and shards of toffee. Do we have a fan? Hell yes!
Truth be told I had a few issues with this cheesecake. I followed the directions and it did not work for me. I'd like to blame my tools but I'm not really sure what went wrong, it just needed a whole lot more cooking time than stated in the original recipe. Anyway, I've adapted it as stated below, as I made it, without the issues! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did, even if you only get to enough time to drool over the pictures.
STICKY CARAMEL TOFFEE CHEESECAKE (Adapted from Yammie's Noshery)
1/2 cup toffees (Pascal's Columbines)
3 cups (300g) shredded wheatmeal biscuits (or Graham crackers), crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. golden syrup (or corn syrup)
3 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup cream
710g cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla essence
1/4 cup caramel
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cream, whipped
Remaining caramel(about 1/2-3/4 cup)
1/2 cup toffees
Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line a 20x20 springform cake tin and set aside.
To make the base, first place the toffees in a food processer, and blitz until they resemble chunks. Fransfer to a large bowl, and add the biscuit crumbs, salt, sugar and melted butter. Combine well.
Press this base mixture into the lined cake tin and well up the sides. Place the chocolate chips inside the cheesecake shell and cover the bottom evenly. Place in the oven for 5 minutes until the chocolate begins to melt, then remove from oven. Smooth the chocolate over with a spatula, and place in the freezer.
While the base is cooling, make the caramel. Place the sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan, and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. When it is caramel coloured, add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the cream and stir to incorporate. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and a thin caramel topping forms. Store in the refrigerator until you use it for the filling.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar and sour cream in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The sugar should dissolve, then add the vanilla and caramel. Add the eggs and beat until just combined. Remove the base from the freezer. Pour in the filling and smooth the top with a spoon. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours-2 hours (depending on the strength of your oven. Mine has dodgy seals, so it took two hours. You can check to see if its done by lightly shaking the tin from side to side, to see how wobbly the centre is. The top should form a dry coat, and the centre should only be slightly wobbly. This will firm up on refrigeration. You can also dip a knife blade into the centre of the cheesecake, and see the texture of the residue that's left on the knife. If it looks like raw batter, give it a few more minutes and test again).
Turn off the oven and leave the oven door ajar with the cheesecake in it for a further half an hour, so that the cheesecake cools slowly. Remove after this time, and complete the cooling process on the bench top. When completely cooled, you can remove the cheesecake and decorate with whipped cream and remaining toffees. I blitzed my toffees again in the blender to use as a garnish. I also used the remainder of the caramel to spread over the top of the cheesecake before decorating with cream. This caramel does not set, so when the cake is cut, it drizzles down the side of the cheesecake and looks super decadent and droolworthy.
Makes approximately 12 serves.
NOTES: You can use any chewy toffees in this recipe. If your toffees are too soft to blend in the food processor, place them in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. The toffees I used were similar to Fan Tails, without the chocolate.