Drool much? Well you will be by the end of this post. I recently found out about the Philadelphia Cheesecake of the Year contest and thought it would be a great reason to try baking a cheesecake. For the first time ever. Yikes! Well I think this photo kinda gives it away but all went well and here you have my own little creation I like to call Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake. Basically I took a few of my fav recipes and ingredients and made them into one dream cheesecake. I’m not a professional baker by any means, in fact I’m usually looking for shortcuts when it comes to baking but in this case I made it all from scratch. In the name of full disclosure I’ll say that it wasn’t the easiest recipe I’ve ever tackled but it wasn’t the most stressful either. It’s not that it’s super hard, it’s just a bit of a process and this one happens to have a few different elements.
Here’s what you’ll need for this too good for words recipe:
• 1 3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs
• 1/4 cup fine shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup melted butter
• 3 bricks of 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese at room temperature
• 1 tsp of cornstarch (dissolved in .5 oz of warm water)
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 white sugar
• 1/2 cup icing sugar
• 4 regular size eggs, beaten (use 3 if large)
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1/4 cup fine shredded coconut
CARAMEL (makes more than needed, hello ice-cream sundae!)
• 1 c. granulated sugar
• 6 tbsp. salted butter chopped into pieces
• 1/2 c. 35% cream
• 2 tbsp. salt
CHOCOLATE GANACHE (extra for ice-cream sundae too!)
• 6 oz bittersweet or dark chocolate
• 1/2 c. 35% cream
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
BASE & CHEESECAKE:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the sides of a 9″ springform cake pan. I suggest cutting a circle of parchment paper for the bottom or grease it as well.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut & butter until well blended and press firmly into the bottom of a 9″ spring bottom pan. Double the recipe if you want the graham cracker to come up on the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove and let cool. Turn the oven down to 325 F.
3. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugars, vanilla, cornstarch, salt and mix until combined.
4. Slowly add the beaten eggs about a tablespoon at a time and mix well between.
5. Add the coconut milk, mix until combined.
6. Pour mixture into baked crust. TIP: to help the cake bake evenly and flat, wrap a wet towel around the pan. Bakc at 325 F for 60- 70 minutes or until centre is just slightly jiggly.
7. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature then cool in fridge for 8 hours.
1. Heat granulated sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid. Be careful not to burn.
2. Once sugar is completely melted, carefully add the butter.
3. Very slowly add the 1/2 cup of heavy cream and allow to boil for 1 minute.
4. Remove from heat and add the tbsp of salt. Transfer to a bowl to help cool, place in fridge to quicken the process.
(leave this until very end when you’re ready to assemble cheesecake)
1. Heat the cream until just before it boils. Remove from heat and combine with chopped chocolate & vanilla in a bowl.
2. Stir until chocolate is melted then pour on top of caramel.
Now you’re ready to make the magic happen! Place your cake on your platter of choice and set on a cookie sheet. As seen in the photos above, you start by placing some parchment or wax paper under the edges of the cheesecake. This is to catch the chocolate spill and keep your platter pretty. Then carefully add a layer of the salted caramel without going over the edge. Put in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. In the meantime make your ganache. When it’s ready, slowly add a generous amount to the centre and allow it to slowly spread. Slowly add until you get the coverage & drip effect you’re happy with. Place in the fridge again to cool for 30-60min.
When you’re ready to serve, remove paper and voila! You’re piece of food art is complete!
So are you drooling or what? Feeling inspired to make your own cheesecake masterpiece? Maybe $5000 will entice you. If you’re feeling like rockin’ and rollin’ in the kitchen and flexing your baking skills, enter The Philadelphia Cheesecake of the Year contest. You have until 6pm (ET) on Monday, June 16th to enter your festive cheesecake recipe & photo using Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Bonus, the first 250 entries receive a free block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese!
Five lucky finalists chosen by a panel of judges will be flown round-trip to Toronto to participate in the Cheesecake of the Year bake off a the Kraft Kitchen. One grand prize winner will walk away with $5000 (!!) be featured in a national print campaign and of course title of 2014 Cheesecake of the Year.
Totally excited? Visit their website for full contest details, rules & regulations.
(This post was brought to your by Kraft Canada via sheblogs. The opinions expressed herein are my own and not indeicative of the opinions of positions of Kraft Canada)