Salted caramel white chocolate cheesecake

On a recent trip to Sydney, I was lucky enough to eat a salted caramel white chocolate cheesecake with hokey pokey on the top of it. Oh. My. Gosh. I was pretty sure I could recreate the experience by combining a couple of recipes I use often, and I have had some success! The cheesecake is based on Chelsea Winter’s excellent White Chocolate and Berry Cheesecake. I’ve tried to take lots of pictures as I go for a change!!

Ingredients

For the base

  • 350g biscuits*
  • 75g melted butter

For the cheesecake

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1 cup cream, whipped
  • 250g white chocolate
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces

For the salted caramel

  • 40ml water
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Method

Base

  • Either process the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble crumbs or put the biscuits in a double plastic bag and bash them with something heavy – I use a rolling pin.
  • Mix in the butter until all is well combined.
  • Press down firmly into a greased and lined springform tin. If I am using a bigger tin, I normally do the base just over the base of the tin, but if I am making a higher cheesecake in a smaller tin, I go up the sides with the base.
  • Put into the fridge to chill while you make the topping.

Cheesecake

  • Using an electric beater, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream.
  • In a third smaller bowl, combine the larger measure of chocolate and the smaller measure of cream. Met either over hot water in a pot or in the microwave. I find that in the microwave, it is best to use half power for about a minute. Take the chocolate out and stir until it is all combined and the chocolate is melted.20160325_113831
  • In small portions, add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese beating thoroughly between each batch. Doing it this way means that the chocolate doesn’t set when it hits the cold cream cheese so combines better.
  • Once all the melted chocolate has been combined, fold the whipped cream and chopped white chocolate through the cream cheese mixture.
  • Pour into the prepared base and smooth the top. Return to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.

Salted caramel

  • Combine sugar and water into a medium sized saucepan. Place over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mix begins to bubble.
  • From this point, do not stir the sugar and water mix. If it looks like it needs to be mixed, then swirl the mix in the pot.
  • Allow the mix to simmer away fr about 8-10 minutes (keep an eye on it!). Eventually, it will begin turning a honey colour, then caramel.
  • At the point it is caramel in colour, add the cream to the pan. It will bubble up, and the sugar and water will set somewhat. Keep stirring over heat until the sugar and water have combined with the cream and there are no lumps. Turn off the heat and add the salt. Allow to cool.
  • Just before serving, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and place onto a platter. Pour the salted caramel over the top of the cheesecake, serve and eat.

Notes:

  • the biscuits I use for this cheesecake are the Leda gluten-free chocolate chip biscuits. If I am making the berry version, I also add 1/4 cup of cocoa to the base, but for the salted caramel version,  I think it is nicer without the extra chocolate.
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Lemon velvet tart – gluten free, egg free

I took the opportunity of a lunch time visit from my parents to experiment with a new recipe. This is a combination of recipes made into one, and is a (tangential) step on my quest to make an egg-free, gluten-free, lemon meringue pie! This dish is best if you can refrigerate it for a couple of hours, or even up to four hours, but will do fine if it has only had an hour or so. This is quick to make, is light and delicious and tart, but also creamy and well, velvety. Hence the name.

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 packet gluten-free arrowroot biscuits (or similar plain biscuits)
  • 50g melted butter
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger

Topping

  • 250ml cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • Grated rind of 3 lemons
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 125g white chocolate, melted
  • 300 ml cream, whipped

Method

  • Grease and line a flan dish, either ceramic or metal.
  • Grind up biscuits until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  • Add ginger, lemon rind and melted butter to the breadcrumbs and stir until all are mixed thoroughly.
  • Press the biscuit mix into the flan dish and put refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until cool.
  • Place the cream cheese, lemon rind, lemon juice and icing sugar into a bowl, and whisk until all combined.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and mix well.
  • Lastly, fold in the whipped cream.
  • Refrigerate filling for at least an hour.
  • Spread filling into base, and allow to chill for at least another hour if possible.
  • Serve just as is!
Et voila! The finished product.

Et voila! The finished product.

Raspberry Orange White Chocolate Marscapone Tart – gluten-free, egg-free

We had friends over for dinner last night, and I’ve been experimenting with pastry recently to see how it is if I make it gluten-free. I know I can buy gluten-free pastry, but it’s expensive and a pain to try and get it home, because you always buy it frozen. Also it has egg in it, and I am as intolerant to egg as I am to gluten. Sigh. The friends who came over are very tolerant of experimentation, so I had a go. I deliberately chose a pastry that had some flavour in it to cover the gluten-free flour flavours and a recipe that was naturally egg-free. This proved to be an easy dessert to make, great for a quick assembly. It’s neither too sweet nor too rich.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tbsp castor sugar
  • 125g cold butter, chopped
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1-2 tbsp orange juice
  • 400g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 250g marscapone cheese
  • 125ml cream
  • 100ml white chocolate, melted
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 125ml raspberry jam
  • 1 tbsp water

Method

  • Sift flour, sugar and guar gum into a bowl.
  • Rub in butter and rind until it looks likes breadcrumbs.
  • Add 1 tbsp orange juice. You want to make the ingredients cling together when they’re kneaded.
  • Knead until smooth, then roll into a ball, cover with gladwrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Roll pastry out. I use a sheet of baking paper and the gladwrap that I wrapped the pastry in and roll out between these two things.
  • Lift pastry into tin and press in. Use a loose bottom flan tin if possible. I found that the pastry broke up quite a lot, but you can just use the warmth of your hand to press it all back together. Try not to make the pastry too thick either on the bottom or on the curve up to the sides.
  • Lightly prick the base all over with a fork and put back in the fridge for 30 more minutes.
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Put a piece of baking paper over the pastry case and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake in hot oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove beans/rice and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on it. I let mine cook too long and it cracked a bit. It should be lightly browned. Allow the case to cool completely.
  • Combine marscapone, cream, cointreau, melted chocolate and icing sugar. Beat with a whisk or an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly into cool pastry case.
  • Combine jam and water and heat gently until the jam is melted. Sieve the mix to remove the seeds.
  • Cover the flan with the fresh or frozen (defrosted) raspberries. Glaze the raspberries with the jam and water mix.

You can refrigerate this for a couple of hours before serving. A lovely summer dessert.

This is picture from the recipe book, because we scarfed ours before I could take a photo!

This recipe originally came from the Australian Women’s Weekly Home Library Pies and Tarts cookbook. I have modified and adapted it to be gluten-free.

Chocolate and lemon marbled baked cheescake

I have to think of a better name for this recipe!! This is thanks once again to the inimitable Jo Seagar for the base recipe which I’ve amended. It makes a lovely dessert which can be prepared in advance and is very quick to make but tastes a million dollars. I always make it with lite versions of the cheeses and creams and it works perfectly every time. First attempt at food photography!!

Ingredients

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 250g ricotta
  • 250g sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cream

Method

  • Grease and line the bottom of a 20cm springform tin.
  • Combine all ingredients except the chocolate and cream.Mix thoroughly until smooth. You can use a food processor for this but I find a whisk works just as well.
  • Pour the cheese mix into the prepared tin.
  • Melt the chocolate either in a bowl over a pot with water in it, or at half power in the microwave for a minute or so. Stir in cream to make the chocolate more pourable.
  • Pour the chocolate into the cheese mix in circles/ spirals/ swirls and use a knife to stir through the mix.
  • Bake at 160 degrees C for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

You can serve this with cream or ice cream, or add a berry topping:

  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries, defrosted and with their juice
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
  • Sugar to taste

Combine all and pour over the cheesecake.

Plum, white chocolate and cream cheese mousse

With thanks to my friend Jeannie for this one! I have a very similar recipe which is a chocolate cream cheese mousse and I may post it later, but here’s a slightly healthier variant, and can be made gluten free or not as you choose – just change out the biscuits. The gingernuts work really well with the cream cheese. Yum, yum, yum, yum!

Ingredients

  • 250g tub of cream cheese (I use lite and it works fine)
  • 120g white chocolate (melted)
  • 1 x 820g can black doris plums
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 packet gluten free gingernuts
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • 25g butter, melted

Method

Drain the can of plums, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Remove the stones from the plums, and set aside 6 halves for decoration. Mash the rest of the plums lightly.

Allow the cream cheese to soften out of the fridge.  Whisk together the cream cheese and plums, and whisk through the melted chocolate. Whip the cream and fold this in. Cover and place in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours.

Bash the biscuits until they are crumbs. Mix in rind of the lemon and then pour through butter. Mix thoroughly and then press into a flan tin. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Place the mousse mix into the base, and then refrigerate again until ready to eat. To serve, place the half plums on the top, add a little whipped cream and enjoy!

Variations are that you could make mini-flans (if you have time!) or serve the dessert in parfait glasses with the crumb mix at the bottom, and a dollop of cream, half a plum and a mint leaf on the top.