1 April, 2007

Caramel apple toffee cheesecake

Once the HHDD cheesecake competition was over, Peabody posted her own cheesecake recipe with some mouthwatering photos. Once more I needed to cook something for supper after choir rehearsal so I ran out and bought some cream cheese right away.

Peabody’s recipe uses American cup measures and she also has a bigger tin than I do, so before I started I converted it to metric and shrank it by a quarter to fit my 8 1/2 inch / 22 cm springform tin. Then I made various other adjustments along the way. Verdict: success — it even looked almost as gorgeous as Peabody’s! I won’t repeat the method here, as you can find it at Culinary Concoctions, but here’s my heavily annotated ingredient list in metric measurements.


These quantities are based on the assumption that 1 cup = 8 fl oz. = about 200 ml. They are for a 22 cm. springform tin

Crust:
120 g biscuits of your choice [1]
30 g melted butter [2]

Cheesecake:
350 g cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia, St Moret)
350 g plain fromage frais [3]
100 g sugar [4]
4 eggs [5]
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 g toffee [6]

Topping:
2 large crisp eating apples, e.g. Granny Smith
30 g butter
40 g sugar

Caramel sauce:
80 g sugar cubes [7]
100 ml cream

I baked it in the bain marie for 1 1/4 hours at 150 C.

  1. 1. I used apple shortbread biscuits; plain shortbread would do, and I should think speculoos would be nice too
  2. 2. Peabody’s recipe has 2 tbs sugar for the crust. I never put sugar in my crust, the biscuits are sweet enough already, so I missed it out.
  3. 3. I find a cheesecake made entirely with cream cheese too cloying, so I use half cream cheese and half fromage blanc, a runny low-fat cheese sold in tubs.
  4. 4. Peabody evidently has a much sweeter tooth than I do! According to my calculations I should have used 300 g of sugar. I measured this out, looked at it and thought, “No, that’s ridiculous!”. So I reduced it by a quarter and my chief taster said it was still much too sweet. I agreed with him, so I think 100 g is more reasonable. There’s already plenty of sugar in the topping and sauce.
  5. 5. This seemed the most practical way of reducing 4 eggs + 2 yolks by a quarter.
  6. 6. I wasn’t sure what Peabody meant by “toffee pieces”. I bought a bag of hard toffees and bashed them with a rolling pin (ours is a low-tech kitchen!) — this resulted in pieces ranging from crumbs to large crunchy bits. The small bits dissolved and most of the large bits sank to the bottom — this probably wasn’t supposed to happen, but hey, it tasted good.
  7. 7. Tip: the easiest way of making caramel is by using sugar cubes. No fiddling about with water — just put your cubes in a dry pan and place over moderate heat. Bash them up a bit with a wooden spoon as they melt. They will go straight from cubes to a pale caramel with no lumps. Once melted turn up the heat until the desired colour is achieved, then remove from heat and add the cream. Guaranteed to work perfectly every time. Since I discovered this I’ve never done it any other way.

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