I was trying to find something easy yet a bit elegant for a dinner party this evening and came across this simple, yet enticing recipe (love Food and Wine magazine!). I'm a firm believer in 'simple' recipes with high quality ingredients.
The result? This cheesecake was very easy to make and a bit different as no base was required and, since it was in ramekins, added a personal touch. The salted caramel came out divine, though it wouldn't be until my second batch that I would discover this. My first batch I overcooked by about 10 seconds and burned it...sugar is indeed tricky. The cheesecakes are chilling now in the refrigerator and I can't help but wonder if I should have added vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste to make it a bit vanilla-y. I believe in pretty much adding good quality vanilla to almost any sweet dessert-y recipe. Hmm. I guess i'll be able to tell you this evening when it's being devoured (hopefully!).
Changes to recipe: There was feedback about the cheesecake not being cooked properly according to the recipe's directions. Upon research, I decided to increase the oven temp to 350F/175C and cooked for 20 minutes, then shut off the oven and left them in the oven for an hour. They seemed to be pretty perfect when I removed them from the oven. I'll tell you later if they were cooked properly or not. And I may or may not advise to add vanilla ;).
If you make this here in the UK, you'll wonder how to 'stir the cream in a thin stream'. Since the double cream (UK equivalent to heavy cream) here has the texture of whipped butter, that's pretty much an impossible feat. I dropped the lump of cream into the mixture and stirred it quickly - no issues.
I had a bit of caramel left over and decided to coat apples in it - absolutely delish and the fleur de sel was an excellent touch. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how this recipe turned out. Stay tuned!
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
CONTRIBUTED BY MICHAEL MOORHOUSE
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 4 HRS 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
More and more pastry chefs are raiding the saltcellar. And that includes Michael Moorhouse, who sprinkles crunchy bits of fleur de sel on his moist, intensely flavored cheesecake topped with thick, golden caramel. Moorhouse created the cake for Gaia, a restaurant in Greenwich, Connecticut, and it's a most outrageously delicious desserts.
- 1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Fleur de sel
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in the sour cream. Pour the batter into six 5-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
- Set the ramekins in a small pan and set the pan in the center of the oven. Add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the cheesecakes for 10 minutes, until set at the edges but still quite jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecakes in for 1 hour. Transfer the ramekins to a rack and let cool completely.
- In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the corn syrup. Stir in the sugar and cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Off the heat, carefully stir in the butter with a long-handled wooden spoon. Stir in the cream in a thin stream. Transfer the caramel to a heatproof pitcher and let cool. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon of fleur de sel.
- Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of the caramel over each cheesecake and swirl to coat the tops. If the caramel is too thick, warm it in a microwave oven at 10-second intervals. Refrigerate the cheesecakes until chilled, at least 3 hours. Sprinkle with fleur de sel just before serving.
MAKE AHEAD The cheesecakes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.NOTES Cooking Club Tip: If you see sugar crystals on the sides of the pot while making caramel, dissolve them with a pastry brush that has been dipped in water until well moistened.