Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
SALTED Caramel flavour has become incredibly popular recently. You can find a salted caramel flavour almost everywhere these days, from chocolates to ice cream to cakes. We added this salted caramel cheesecake to the menu in Azzurro recently, and it has become an overnight success, often selling out. So with that in mind I decided to share the recipe so that you can make it at home too. Just be careful when making the salted caramel as it can bubble and splatter a bit when you add the cold butter. But it will all be worth it, as it tastes delicious.
200g shortbread biscuits
25g butter, melted
600g cream cheese
75g golden caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tsp. vanilla extract
Line the base of a 22cm round, loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment.
Place the biscuits in a food processor and pulse to crumbs. Tip into a bowl, add the melted butter then mix well. Press the biscuits into the base of the cake tin and put in the fridge to chill.
Beat together the cream cheese and sugar with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Carefully add the eggs, one at a time with the lemon zest and vanilla extract until well mixed. Pour the mixture onto the chilled biscuit base and bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes until just set.
Set aside to cool for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the salted caramel. Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed small saucepan and turn the heat to medium. The sugar will begin to dissolve and as it does gently move the saucepan from side to side so that it melts evenly. When the sugar has completely turned to syrup it should start to go light golden brown.
At this point remove from the heat and add the butter. Stir well until the butter has melted. Be careful as the sugar will be very hot and adding the cold butter will cause it to bubble ferociously and splatter a little. Be sure to keep hands and arms clear.
Then add the cream and place back on the heat. It should only take a few minutes for the caramel to thicken, add half tsp. salt. Stir to dissolve then remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
When the cheesecake is set, remove from the tin and place on a cake stand or serving plate. Pour the cooled salted caramel sauce all over the top of the cheesecake, and place back in the fridge.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.