food, Recipes

Salted caramel and macadamia cheesecake

I spent time in the Ottolenghi kitchen in London last year. This recipe, although my own, was inspired by what I made while I was there. I have coined my own fun name for the ‘drip’ they do over their cheesecake – the ‘Otto’ drip – it gives the cheesecake ‘ultimate lickability’. The cheesecake itself if easy to do. The Salted Caramel and Macadamia Topping is a little more challenging. For an equally delicious but much less complicated topping, sweeten sour cream to taste and spread over the surface of the cooked cheesecake. Finish with a generous amount of halved strawberries, at room temperature, and a good dredging of icing sugar. SALTED CARAMEL AND MACADAMIA CHEESECAKE Serves 8 You'll need: 200g pkt Ginger Nuts, crushed 100g butter, melted 750g cottage cheese, creamed 1 cup castor sugar 90g (180ml) flour 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks, beaten 200ml cream 10ml vanilla extract NUT TOPPING 150g macadamia nuts 90g castor sugar SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE 160g castor sugar 65g unsalted butter 100ml whipping cream Maldon salt to taste 1. Prepare tin: lightly grease 22cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. 2. Prepare base: combine crushed biscuits and butter and press evenly into the prepared tin. Bake at 180°C for 5 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack. 3. To make the filling, beat cottage cheese until smooth. Combine the sugar and flour and beat into cottage cheese. 4. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Then add cream in steady stream, beating to incorporate. 5. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake at 180°C for ± 40 minutes. Leave to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. 6. To prepare nut topping, scatter nuts over a baking sheet and roast at 140°C for about 15 minutes, until golden. Set aside. Line baking tray with reusable baking sheet. Place sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and caramelize as per demonstration. Add toasted nuts and mix gently until coated in caramel, pour on to lined tray and leave to set. 7. To make the sauce, caramelize the sugar in a thick-based frying pan. Remove from heat and add butter, a little at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition. Return to heat, add cream and stir vigorously until smooth. Remove from the heat, add salt to taste and leave to cool. 8. To finish the cake, dust the edges and sides with plenty of icing sugar. Spoon the sauce in the centre, then spread to the icing sugar – use spoon to create ‘Otto’ drip as demonstrated. Break up caramelized nuts and sprinkle on top. Pictures of step-by-step salted caramel sauce and cheesecake courtesy of Vanessa Lewis (18thirty9.co.za).