Saturday 16 September 2017

Foodie Friday On A Saturday - No Bake Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

This post is typical I suppose of how this year has gone, I don't post a Foodie Friday post for eons, and then when I do it becomes a Foodie Friday On A Saturday post instead. Ha! Ha! life fail in the extreme seems to sum up my year! Anyways I hope that you will agree, that this recipe was one worth waiting for.

I love cheesecake, I crave cheesecake on a regular basis, but as you probably know a lot of the ones that you buy in the supermarkets just don't cut the mustard - they are okay in an emergency but when you want the real I am, you can't beat a homemade dessert.

Baked cheesecakes scare me and as a vegetarian throwing gelatine into something isn't really an option so this no bake, vegetarian friendly number fits the bill perfectly. The recipe is very loosely based on a No Bake Raspberry And White Chocolate Cheesecake that a lovely lady that used to blog shared many moons ago. As long as you stick to the basic filling mix then you can use what every chocolate you like, and you can play with the flavours and the filling be it fruit, or even more chocolate. I made this recipe last week for my mam's birthday and I'm going to be honest this isn't one for the faint hearted - it's hugely calorific, very rich and very sickly, if you like your sweets to be sweet, then this is the dessert for you.

No Bake Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

For The Base

100g Ginger Nuts
100g Chocolate Digestives
75g Butter (More For Greasing)

397g Tin Carnation Caramel

For The Filling

500g Full Fat Cream Cheese (Room Temperature)
50g Caster Sugar
180ml Whipping Cream
600g Milk Chocolate
65g Butter
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract Or Vanilla Paste
Large Bar Of Caramel Filled Chocolate or Soft Caramel Filled Buttons Or Chocolates

For this cheesecake you will need a very well greased, loose bottomed or spring form cake tin, around 23cm across, don't worry if it's a little bit smaller but if it's any bigger you might need to make a bit more of the base.

1. To make the base all you need to do is to crush your biscuits, either in a sealed bag with a rolling pin or if you have one, use a food processor, it's way easier on the arms and you get a more consistent crumb. Melt your butter and then add it to the crumb mix with a tablespoon of the caramel, and give it a good stir.

2. Now it's time for one of the grossest pictures that you will probably ever see on my blog ;) It doesn't look good but the combo of butter, caramel and biscuit crumbs, tastes fantastic. Try not to eat it though, because a cheesecake is nothing without it's base. Pour the crumb mix into your well greased tin, and then press it down evenly and firmly with either the back of a spoon or a potato masher to create a compressed, even crust.

Then either pop it into the fridge or put it in a cool place for around an hour to firm up

3. While your base is setting it's time to start on the filling. Put your chocolate into a large bowl, with your butter and your vanilla, and pop it over a bowl of boiling water, gently stirring until it's melted. Try not to get any water into your chocolate mix and make sure that your chocolate mix doesn't get too hot.

4. While your chocolate mix is melting, put your room temperature cream cheese into a large bowl, and then add the cream and the sugar, then mix it all together until it's smooth.

5. You don't have to add any more chocolate but I love the texture difference in my cheesecake so you can either add some ordinary chopped chocolate or you can do what I've done here and chopped up a large bar of soft caramel filled chocolate (this is Cadbury's Caramel), or you can use individual soft caramel filled chocolates. Pop the chopped chocolate into the fridge until you're ready for it.

6. By now your chocolate mix should be fully melted, give it a good stir to make sure that there are no lumps or solid pieces. It will be a bit thicker than normal melted chocolate due to the addition of the butter so don't panic if it looks a bit thick. Leave it to cool for a minute or two.

7. Then add your melted chocolate mix to your cheese mix, and carefully mix it together until it's smooth and full combined

8. Then mix in your caramel filled chocolate until it's evenly distributed throughout the filling mix.

9. Now it's time to start building your cheesecake, start off by putting a few dollops of caramel sauce on to your chilled cheesecake base

Then start spooning in your cheesecake filling mixture, alternating it with spoonfuls of caramel

Keep a little bit of caramel for the top and swirl it through your cheesecake mix. Then put it in a cold place or in the fridge for at least 12 hours, I left mine for around 24 hours to be on the safe side. Make sure that you put your tin onto a baking sheet or a plate and you can sometimes get a little bit of liquid escaping from the tin, and make sure that you cover the top to avoid anything dripping into the mix

10. Unlike a baked cheesecake or one containing gelatine, this cheesecake will never set completely solid. After leaving it to set though you will notice a definite difference in the texture. It will feel firmer to the touch. Then I guess you just need to be brave, run a palette knife around edges to loosen it, and then either unclip the side of your tin, or push it up from the bottom, and your cheesecake should come away easily.

11. If it doesn't come away evenly it's not the end of the world, it will still taste great even if it doesn't look it. If it comes out great well done you, smooth the edges off with a palette knife, and if you don't think there is enough chocolate or caramel in it already, then decorate it with a bit more, I used Cadbury's Caramel Nibbles here x

Then serve in small slices, it will be gooey as hell, that's just the way it is. Pop it back into the fridge in between ravishings where it will keep for a couple of days, if you can leave it alone that is.

Tips And Suggestions

  • As I say providing you stick to the basic chocolate, cheese ration you can use what ever you like, the original version uses white chocolate and raspberries and white chocolate buttons in the filling instead of the caramel, and the milk chocolate and it's amazing. I'm also envisaging a milk and white chocolate swirled cheesecake, a chocolate orange one for Christmas, and maybe white chocolate with strawberry or passion fruit, or a chocolate and peanut butter version or a white chocolate version with crushed Oreos, or even a dark chocolate and salted caramel version, just use your imagination!
  • If you think this version is too much then you can of course leave out the extra chocolate in the filling on the top and just use the caramel.
  • Instead of Carnation Caramel you could also obviously make your own caramel or toffee sauce, or use a jar of Dulce De Leche, a salted caramel sauce or even something like Cadbury's Caramel Spread.
  • I've made this with a combination of gluten free chocolate digestives and ginger snaps but you can use what ever biscuits that you like - digestives are obviously the preferred biscuit for cheesecakes but ginger snaps, bourbons and Oreos also work really well
  • It's really important that your cream cheese is at room temperature, it just won't mix in well enough if it's too cold. It's also important that you use a decent cream cheese for this recipe you don't want anything low fat, and whilst supermarket brands do work don't go for their budget or value cream cheese, it just isn't creamy or thick enough.
Obviously this cheesecake isn't something that you would eat all the time, it's way too calorific and expensive to make every day but for a treat or for a special occasion it's well worth indulging in a yummy slice of homemade cheesecake. If you have any questions please leave me a comment and if you try this out I'd love to see your creations x 

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