White Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cheesecake (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe)

img_4282I quite fancied a Baileys and White chocolate cheesecake for Christmas Day dessert when I was planning what we would have for pudding. After surveying the hugely expensive and unappealing array of desserts at Marks and Spencer’s and Asda I decided it was easier to make my own adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s version. The reason for not adding the Baileys to the mixture is that I have two young sons and didn’t want a boozy taste to the mix. I opted instead to purchase a selection of Irish cream liqueurs from Aldi called Ballycastle which have more subtle flavours and included the Salted caramel one in the mix. They also have Mint chocolate and chocolate orange flavours.

The taste of the soft cheesecake topping, salted caramel liquer coupled with the mashed up Oreos and oat cookie biscuit base was truly divine and left my family asking for more! Jamie’s original recipe added crushed hazelnut croquante but I didn’t want to mess about with that and opted instead for Ferraro Rocher to decorate the top of the cheesecake.

Here’s  the recipe – Enjoy!

Makes once large (26cm) cheesecake
Base:
200g Oreo cookies crushed
100g chocolate covered oat style biscuits, crushed
100g butter, melted
Filling:
500g cream cheese (eg:Philadelphia)
150ml single cream
150g quark (10 % fat)
40g caster sugar
200g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
120ml Salted caramel Irish cream liqueur (Ballycastle) found at Aldi
One teaspoon of Vanilla essence
2 sheets of leaf gelatine
Ferraro rocher x 10 to decorate, icing sugar to dust

Method:
1. Base: Combine the crushed cookies in a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Mix well then gently press into the base of 26cm springform tin. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

2. Prepare the gelatine according to packet instructions then set aside while you prepare the cream filling.
3. Whip the single cream together with the caster sugar till fluffy, then add the cream cheese and quark and continue whisking for about 1 minute.
4. Add the prepared gelatine and vanilla then continue to whisk for approx 2 mins. Set aside for now.
5. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate over a low heat. Once it’s completely melted, remove from the heat then set aside for 1 minute to allow to cool slightly.
6. Add the melted chocolate and the salted caramel liquer to the whipped cheesecake mixture , folding it in gently with a spoon.
7. Pour the filling into the prepared cheesecake base, cover, then place in the fridge and allow the mixture to set overnight (or a minimum of 6 hours).
8. The next day, sprinkle some icing sugar over the surface of the cheesecake and arrange Ferraro Rocher chocolates around the edge.
9. Cut into slices and serve.img_4286

In the mood for luuuurve!

Have you ever noticed how Valentine’s day seems to creep up on you from nowhere? I’m noticing Valentine Cards and cakes wherever I go and ideally would love to be one of those super-organized people who don’t leave it till the last minute rush to get a Valentine Card for my husband – what you mean to tell me that you are not one of those kind of people? Yes –  you’ll catch me in the supermarket aisle giggling away to myself at all the funnies in the Valentine Cards section – I have no shame! But hey life is too short to waste a good giggle!

 

There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine”. Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

Valentine’s Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia. The lives of young boys and girls in those days were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl’s name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry. Awwww!

For me Valentine’s Day is the one day in the year where lovers can afford to be lavish with one another – splash each other with gifts, cake, cards, Cake, flowers, cake – actually have you noticed I’m obsessed with Cake? Particularly Valentine’s Cakes!

No my husband won’t be buying me any cake as I bake for him every day! However for those of you who love to drool – here are my Valentine Cakes – just dripping with hearts and flowers (red roses and chocolate – what more could you possibly want?)

you can order them from Cake Heaven – right on time for Valentine’s Day!

http://www.facebook.com/cakeheaven

Photos compliments of http://www.andreapittam.com