I'm pretty cranky today. I had a full-on weekend, but in a mostly good way. Yesterday I was happily baking in the kitchen and everything was going great. I had made some awesome caramelised white chocolate, the cheesecake I was preparing for my sister-in-law's birthday looked great going into the oven and baking in the oven. Then somehow things just went completely downhill. I got impatient waiting for the damn cheesecake to cool, and not only managed to deflate it quite badly, it was still soft while I was taking it out of it's tin and I managed to crack it into two ugly pieces. DISASTER. It was only barely saved by covering the whole thing with a crapload of blueberries. Sad face.
Anyway, that's the reason there's not many pictures of anything but a lot of blueberries. But I still wanted to share this recipe with you because I'm pretty certain it is great. It tasted great the last time I made it (even after dropping it on the floor), and I really wanted to make it pretty this time so I could share it with you guys. Sigh. I haven't tasted or cut into this one yet because it's her birthday today, fingers crossed it tastes as good as the mixture did before it went into the oven. I'm so irritated with myself for being impatient with the cooling process, I just really wanted to take some photos and have a nap yesterday. I never learn!
So, about the caramelised white chocolate. I posted the picture on my instagram and facebook yesterday and there was a giant chorus of "HOW?!". For the record, google is your friend. But I've been hearing great things about caramelised white chocolate from all of my favourite blogs, in particular David Lebovitz and Poires au Chocolat. It looked so good, I knew I was going to love it. I made some for my husband's birthday cake and it was fab. I made it again for this cheesecake and it was even better. It was almost a shame to mix it into the cheesecake, I just wanted to sit there and eat it with a spoon. But the cheesecake mixture tasted so great that I knew it was worth it. Anyway, if you have yet to try caramelised white chocolate, YOU MUST DO IT NOW. Just make sure you find the best quality white chocolate you can and stay far far away from anything compound.
Caramelised White Chocolate Cheesecake with Blueberries
(serves 10, adapted from this Lifestyle Food recipe)
For the crust:
2 cups Digestive biscuit crumbs (about 1 packet) (or graham crackers, or your favourite biscuit. It works great with ginger nuts)
1 tbsp sugar
100g (7 tbsp) butter, melted
Preheat oven to 150°C (320°F), grease and line the base of a 20cm springform tin. Crush biscuits and mix in sugar and butter until combined. Press mixture into the base of the prepared tin in an even layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Optional blueberry sauce mixture:
1 punnet (125g) fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornflour/cornstach
1/2 cup water
Place ingredients in a small saucepan and stir to combined. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 3-5 minutes stirring regularly, until blueberries have broken down and mixture starts to thicken. Set aside to cool, strain and chill until needed, after it reaches room temp.
For the caramelised white chocolate (from David Lebovitz):
250g (about 9oz) good quality white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (highest cocoa butter content you can get, preferably more than 30%, minimum 24%)
A pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 120°C (250°F). Place white chocolate pieces in a large baking dish/sheet and heat for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with a dry, clean spatula. Return to the oven and continue to cook for 30-60 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes until the mixture is a deep-golden brown. Don't freak out if the mixture starts to get dry and chalky, it is more likely to do that the lower cocoa solids are in it. Just be patient and stir the mixture and it should smooth out. (It doesn't matter if it doesn't as it will be blended with cream later) Remove from the oven and stir in sea salt. See David's recipe for extra tips and troubleshooting.
For the cheesecake mixture:
250g (about 9oz) cream cheese, softened
1 vanilla bean pod
250g caramelised white chocolate prepared above
250g sour cream
250g crème friache
3 large eggs
1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries, to serve
Preheat oven to 150°C (320°F). Place cream cheese and scraped seeds of the vanilla bean pod in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until smooth. Mix the melted and slightly cooled caramelised white chocolate with the crème friache. (Blend together if there are any lumps) Add white chocolate mixture and sour cream to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine, scraping bowl wit ha spatula every now and then. With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Pour mixture over prepared crust. If you are using the blueberry sauce, drizzle it over the top of the cheesecake mixture and use a butter knife to swirl it into the surface. Bake in oven until the middle is just wobbly and the edges are set, about 50-60 minutes. Turn off oven and cool inside for 15 minutes, then cool completely in tin on a wire rack. Can be stored in fridge overnight before serving. Top with extra blueberries.