Baking a good cheesecake is quite an art form. This is something I realised after my first cheesecake baking attempt had turned into a complete disaster. The base was so hard I could barely cut through it and the filling was so dry and overcooked that the texture resembled ricotta cheese. It was a major fail made worse by the fact that I made it for Mothers’ Day – poor Mum! Despite the obvious flaws she still managed to find a few positives. Since then I’ve steered clear of baked cheesecake but seeing all the fresh figs in season, I’ve been tempted to make a baked cheesecake topped with beautiful plump figs. I also got a new cookbook called “The Cook and the Baker” and they have a white chocolate cheesecake recipe that I’ve been wanting to try.
To make this Fig, White Chocolate and Caramel Baked Cheesecake, I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe. Because I’m adding a caramel sauce to my cheesecake I wanted to reduce the amount of sugar in the cheesecake. I find it’s a little more balanced this way.
Fig, White Chocolate and Caramel Baked Cheesecake
- 150 g of speculoos biscuits
- 60 g of melted butter
- 500 g of cream cheese
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 160 g of caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped
- 3 tbsp of cornflour
- 400 g of white chocolate melted
- 300 g of cream
The salted caramel sauce
- 400 g of sugar
- 170 g of butter at room temperature
- 240 ml of cream at room temperature
- 2 tsp of fleur de sel
- 6 figs
- Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a 22cm spring-form cake tin.
- Blend the biscuits into crumbs and mix them with the melted butter. Press the damp crumps into the base of the cake tin and set aside.
- In a mixer, combine the cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cornflour. Mix until nice and smooth. With the mixer on low to medium speed, slowly pour in the melted chocolate and cream.
- Pour over the biscuit base and bake for 50mins. You know it’s ready when the edges become a little firm but the centre is still wobbly. Allow to cool in the fridge overnight.
The salted caramel sauce
- In a saucepan, over medium/high heat, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar. Allow it to melt then sprinkle a little more. Continue this process until you’ve added all the sugar. You can mix the caramel from time to time but it’s best to avoid mixing too much.
- Allow the caramel to become a dark amber colour then remove it from the heat and add the butter. Be careful as it will bubble and spit. Mix until smooth and homogenous, then add the cream. Bring the caramel again to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the salt, then allow it to cool.
- Spread a layer of caramel over the cheesecake the cut the figs into quarters and arrange them neatly on top.
- Serve with remaining caramel sauce.