Fudge! Cheesecake! Two of my favourite things in the world….put them together and add salted caramel into the equation and I am in heaven! I have always been a lover of a decadent cheesecake, whether baked or the fridge cake variety, and I cannot resist it if it is on the menu. There are two things that I usually look out for on restaurant menus and that is cheesecake and creme brulee. I have been known to rate a restaurant by their cheesecake and creme brulee! I have made many cheesecakes in my lifetime. At one stage I was making 4 a week to supply to a local coffee shop. Recently I started looking for some inspiration to try a new flavour and I came across some images for caramel cheesecake or fudge cheesecake. I love anything fudgey/caramel/dulce de leche/milk jam so I decided to try crumbling creamy blocks of fudge into the actual cheesecake to be baked and then serving it with a caramel topping. To cut the richness of it I decided to add salt to the caramel. It was soooo good and my whole family loved it!
FUDGEY BAKED CHEESECAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL TOPPING
Serves 8 big slices
200g Ginger Biscuits (coconut or oatmeal biscuits would work well too)
160ml Melted Butter
2 x 230g Full Fat Cream Cheese
250ml Full Cream Greek Yoghurt
4 XL Eggs – lightly beaten
1 Can Condensed Milk (397g)
3-4 Lemons – juice squeezed and strained (should be about 100ml or just over
1 Vanilla Pod – split and seeds scraped out (keep the pod for vanilla sugar)
50g Creamy good quality Fudge (don’t use crystallized flopped fudge because it will spoil the creaminess of the finished cheesecake)
Preheat oven to 160 °C
Grease a 24cm loose bottomed springform pan with butter (I like to line the base of mine as well with baking parchment)
Crush the biscuits very finely to a powder – use a food processor or meat mallet but they need to be very fine
Add to a mixing bowl then pour over the melted butter and mix in.
Press the crumb mixture into the base (I use the bottom of a highball glass) and right up the sides of the pan. Place the pan onto a baking sheet or cookie pan and bake for 15 minutes
Add all the filling ingredients (excepting for the fudge) to your mixer or food processor
Process or whisk on top speed for a few seconds until just creamy with no lumpy bits of cream cheese or yoghurt
Pour the filling into the prepared base, scraping all of it out of the mixing bowl
Crumble the fudge over the top of the filling (push some of it down into the filling using a cocktail stick)
Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for one hour until it is just set then turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar and allow to cool completely to room temperature in the oven
Cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed
Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature before slicing and serving with a delicious salted caramel sauce
Tip: The crust needs to stand higher than the filling in this cheesecake…..the edges don’t have to be level or smooth….rustic is good!
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
150g Soft Brown Sugar
50g Golden Syrup
5ml Good Quality Sea Salt Flakes
Melt the butter and syrup in a medium saucepan with high sides
Remove from the heat, add the sugar and return to the heat to dissolve the sugar, don’t stir at this stage, you can swirl the contents of the pan if you need to
As soon as the sugar is all dissolved remove from heat and pour in the cream (it will spit madly and want to boil up) and half of the salt and stir well with a wooden spoon
Return to heat and heat through while stirring continuously until it has all mixed in well and the sauce has started darkening and thickens….not too long as it burns quite easily. It will thicken more as it cools down
Allow to cool then add the rest of the salt flakes
Can be bottled and stored in the fridge
To serve as a sauce heat a few spoonsful of salted caramel with 1Tbs Milk or Cream to thin it a bit. Drizzle over the slices of cheesecake and prepare to be transported into salted caramel cheesecake nirvana!
Check out my Dark Chocolate Amarula and Oreo Cheesecake
Or how about a savoury Mexican inspired cheesecake? Nachos Guacamole Tart with Spicy Salsa and Sour Cream
And if you’re in a brownie sort of a mood I urge you to try my signature dish DECADENT DARK CHOCOLATE AND CHEESECAKE SWIRLED BROWNIES
Avocados rock my winter – they really do! If at all possible I would eat one a day…I said if at all possible hehe! So when I received an email from ZZ2 Farming inviting me to join their #Afrikado More Than Just Guacamole Bloggers Challenge I hit that reply button so fast to accept that it must have spun their heads. I love avocados and I cannot imagine my world without them. I love to buy my avocados green and hard so that I can take those beautiful babies home and hide them in a brown paper bag and ripen them far away from prying eyes and poking fingers. I cannot bear to look at shoppers mishandling and abusing my favourite green FRUIT in the shops. Yep, avocados are classified as a fruit. But you knew that already didn’t you?
I love to eat avocados in a variety of ways, my favourite being straight out of the peel with a spoon! Nothing added! But lately I have gone onto a bit of a health kick and am currently enjoying a glass of green juice each morning to kick start my day! My neighbour told me to add avocado to the juice for a magic formula so that is what I am doing and it is totally delicious. We were tweeting today about avocados and I told a couple of people about my green juice and I was asked for the recipe….so here it is (excuse the cellphone photo but it is all I had to post with the recipe!)
Green Breakfast Juice with Avocado
Makes 2 servings
1/2 Ripe Avocado
250ml Spinach – tightly packed
1/2 Cucumber – skin washed and cut lengthwise into 1/4′s
2 Celery Sticks – washed
4 Granny Smith Apples – washed and cut into 1/4′s
1 Lime or Lemon – peel and pith removed
2,5cm piece of Ginger
40g Cubed Coconut flesh (optional) – this is currently available at Woolworths and is a delicious addition
5ml Chia Seeds per glass
250ml Cold Water
Juice all the ingredients, excepting for the avocado, water and the chia seeds.
Blend avocado, green juice and water together with a stick blender or in a blender until smooth.
Pour one half of the juice into a tall glass and stir in your 5 ml Chia Seeds and enjoy immediately. I like to drink it slowly over the length of time I would eat breakfast!
Store the rest of the juice in a sealed mason jar in the fridge for the next day. Remember to add your chia seeds!
Read here for 13 reasons to add chia seeds to your daily diet!
This festive season Verlaque is a word being bandied about a lot in my kitchen! And dining room. From the mundane to the magnificent, these products are featuring in my Christmas menu! Last Christmas I never knew the products at all, until March when my eyes were opened to their utter deliciousness. Verlaque were very willing sponsors for the first South African Food Bloggers Conference and all those attending went home very happy with their bursting goodie bags! Much has been written about the Verlaque products since then and it is no secret that I love the products and now use them every day in my cooking!
I don’t know about you but the ubiquitous little cocktail sausage/chippolata always features at our festive table or parties. These little beauties disappear before any other party snacks do. I have doubled up on the amount that I make and yet………they still always go first!! Instead of just smooshing them around in a frying pan with a bit of oil why not try this delicious method?? Your tastebuds will love you!
VERLEKKERRRR BAKED COCKTAIL SAUSAGES
1 kg Cocktail Sausages or Chippolatas
30ml Verlaque Pomegranate Concentrate
45ml Runny Honey
45ml Hoisin Sauce (use Ponzu if you can’t find Hoisin)
15ml Thick Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Country Mustard with seeds
1 Orange – finely grated zest only
Mix all the marinade ingredients together then pour over the sausages in an oven proof dish and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 200deg Celcius
Place dish with sausages in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes
Serve with sweet mustard or sweet chilli sauce for dipping
And don’t forget to make plenty!!
Off I head to the kitchen to bake….am having a rare bit of time off today All my Christmas cake orders have been despatched to their rightful owners….my grandsons are on playdates today. I have been holed up in my study working on conference issues but now it’s time to bake! Christmas is waiting for no-one and I have cookies on my agenda!
Enjoy this festive season wherever you may find yourself.
Watch this space for news of the next SA Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba (FBI 2011).
Announcements and ticket sales commencing soon You don’t want to miss this one….book the date NOW 20 February 2011
Delicious spicy peanut chicken served with fragrant coconut rice and Nam Prik Pao chilli sauce for a Thai blog event.
An easy quick to prepare deliciously citrussy ginger soy glaze on just perfectly done duck breasts – a meal fit for royalty and peasants!