There’s not much else that needs to be said when there’s salted caramel and cheesecake in the title. I will say that you could make this even more special by adding a drizzle of melted chocolate to the top after it’s cooled, or you could use chocolate instead of caramel. I made my own cheese for the one in the photos out of some Greek sheeps yoghurt, but it will work well with all kinds of soft cheeses (such as my easy soft cheese recipe here), as long as they’re not too salty. I’ll post the yoghurt cheese recipe up here soon, it’s almost too easy!
The almond flour crust for this recipe is so well suited to cheesecake that it tastes as though it was put there for flavour rather than health. This is a dessert to make often, not only for the taste, but for the nourishment from good soft cheese and cream, it’s a great dessert to serve after a light meal of soup or salad. Baking the cake in a pie dish cuts down on the cooking time and batch size, and gives you more of the wonderfully crispy crust to enjoy with the creamy and tart vanilla filling and drizzles of salted caramel.
For the salted caramel sauce:
1/2 cup honey*
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cream or milk
salt, to taste
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups blanched almond meal, or blanched almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
a pinch of salt
optional 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
4 tablespoons soft butter, or finely chopped cold butter
1 cold egg, whisked
1 tablespoon cold water
For the filling:
12 oz (340g) soft cheese such as quark, ricotta, chévre or yoghurt cheese
1/2 cup créme frâiche, sour cream, or cream
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
2 large eggs, whisked
Take the cheese, créme and eggs out of the fridge.
Make the sauce first by putting the honey in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmering it until the colour changes, without stirring, this will take around 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the butter, cream and some salt. Return to the heat for another 10-15 minutes and leave it to simmer over medium heat until slightly reduced. Taste and adjust the salt, I think it’s best at around 3/4 teaspoon for the whole batch of sauce, but you may prefer less, or more. Take the sauce off the heat.
Preheat the oven to 180ºc (350ºf). Butter a 9” pie dish.
Make the crust by combining the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into this until it resembles breadcrumbs, then quickly mix through the egg, along with a tablespoon of cold water, it should form a dough. If it seems a bit dry, add a little more cold water at a time.
Press the crust evenly into the buttered pie dish. Keep the mixing bowl on hand, and use it for mixing the cheese filling.
To make the cheese filling, mix the cheese with the créme frâiche in the mixing bowl, quickly stir through the honey, then add the eggs and vanilla, mixing thoroughly until evenly combined.
Lightly drizzle some of the caramel sauce inside the crust now if you want (if you put too much sauce on here the crust be deliciously infused with caramel and your pie will need to be eaten with a spoon), top with the cheese filling, then drizzle spoonfuls of the caramel sauce over the top. You will probably have some leftover caramel sauce, try freezing it in small moulds to enjoy as caramels, or using it as a caramel sauce to drizzle over the top of chocolate desserts or ice cream.
Put in the oven and bake for around 35 minutes, until it seems solid around the edges, and slightly puffed up.
For the best taste, allow to cool completely before serving.
*Make sure you use a good honey for this, not the suspicious supermarket swill that tastes like golden syrup. Look for locally produced, minimally processed honey from smaller farms, or at least ones that aren’t made “from imported ingredients”. Buying certified organic is no guarantee that it will be good honey. There’s been studies that have shown that three quarters of the honey sold in US grocery stores is processed to the point that it’s not recognisable as honey! Be careful about your honey selection and you’ll be rewarded in a superior taste and health benefits. If you can’t find good honey locally, have a look online and you’ll be able to buy directly from farmers or trusted health food shops. For more about fake honey see this article and this one.
This recipe has been shared in Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favourite Things, Handmade Hangout, Create it Thursday, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Recipe Sharing Party, Funtastic Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Favourites