Salted Caramel Popcorn Baked Cheesecake

*WARNING: In order for this to set properly it needs a solid half day or more in the fridge post baking. Make it a day ahead*

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Ok, so my mother, the wonderful woman that she is found a recipe years ago for ‘Kit Kat Cheesecake’. I’m assuming this recipe came from Nestle or Philadelphia Cream Cheese packets. Over the years it has been well loved and then it’s been tweaked. I promised cheesecake for Christmas, I didn’t want to do the same old thing, so this is my latest build from the original recipe.

For a super basic, but delicious cheesecake, you just need to make the base and the cheesecake part. Maybe do a chocolate swirl for decoration on top. When making a plain Kit Kat Cheesecake we use sour cream in place of regular cream (yes, still lactose-free) and do a mocha swirl on top. It’s very rich but delicious.

This recipe is super easy to make lactose and gluten free. We don’t need completely free, just low in both, but there will be notes as we go of what to change.

SALTED CARAMEL POPCORN BAKED CHEESECAKE RECIPE

Step 1: The Caramel

This takes a while, so start it before anything else. I am perpetually scared this will explode on me and I probably always will be. This is the only part I don’t know how to make lactose free because I’ve never tried to… however, you can try this recipe here for a lactose free caramel and salt as per below.

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Caramel on base with Maldon salt flakes on top.

To make plain caramel take one 395ml can of sweetened condensed milk, remove the label and, put two small holes on opposite sides of the top of the can. Place the can in a pot (easiest if it comes with a lid) and fill with water till it’s halfway up the side of the can. Pop the pot lid on or cover with alfoil and cook on low heat for 1.5-2hrs. Allow to cool before touching it (trust me, the burns will hurt if you get this on you hot).

To salt – grab yourself some decent salt and sprinkle it over top the caramel once it’s spread on the base. It is about 50g salt recommended to a can.

 

 

Step 2: Prep Your Pan

Line a baking pan of your choice with baking paper. I use a spring coil pan because getting this out of a regular pan is a nightmare.

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The bottom lining of a spring coil pan.

All of this can actually be done in a cupcake or muffin pan using paper liners for cupcakes and muffins. You’ll need to shorten the cooking time to 25-20 minutes per batch (they start to brown slightly on top)

 

 

Step 3: The Base

The Original Recipe: Take 2 packets of mini Kit Kat bars and blitz them into a fumble in a blender, alternately beat them with a hammer or rolling pin until thoroughly destroyed. Add 2 tablespoons of melted

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The base. You can also see the side lining here.

butter or butter alternative (Nutelex and margarine both work fine) to the crushed Kit Kats and mix thoroughly. Tip the mix into your pan and press firmly down to make a solid base. Chill until the rest is ready.Alternately – The easiest is a basic biscuit base made with a gluten free and dairy free chocolate ripple style biscuit. 2 packs gluten free, dairy free chocolate biscuits/cookies blended with enough melted butter alternative to make the mix moist, press into a pan as you would the Kit Kat mix and either blind bake for 8 minutes at 180c (crunchy base) or chill (for a firm but not super crunchy base).

 

Step 4: The Cheesecake

Would you believe this is the easiest bit? First thing, having a bench mixer or something makes this a lot easier just remember to scrape down the sides occasionally. If you’re using an old-fashioned spoon or beater please, for the love of your own sanity, leave the cream cheese out to soften.

Super simple, grab yourself 1/2 a cup of white sugar and 2x 250gm packs of lactose-free cream cheese and cream them together. Beat through 4 large/extra large eggs, one at a time, and 1tsp vanilla. Fold through 500ml of lactose-free cream. Cover and pop in the fridge if your base and caramel aren’t done yet.

 

Step 5: Put It Together and Cook

Grab your chilled base out of the fridge. Pull out your cooled caramel and pop it in a bowl, if it’s not particularly smooth give it a good stir – that happens and it’ll smooth out with a bit of mixing. Put a layer of caramel over the base, leaving a bit of a gap between it and the edge of the base, and sprinkle with the salt (You don’t need to use all of the caramel or salt). Pop back in the fridge for a little bit to cool it off completely while you pre-heat your oven.

Pre-heat your oven to 160c

Once the oven is up to temperature grab your base with caramel, pour the cheesecake mix over top and bake for 1hr. At the end of that hour turn off the heat, and check the cheesecake. It should have set to roughly the consistency of a wobbly jelly if you gently shake the pan, and it may have browned on top a little. Crack the door and let it cool in the oven. Once cool refrigerate – overnight is best, but long enough for it to cool all the way through and set is what you’re aiming for. 4-6 hours at least but overnight is best. It can be eaten with a liquidy centre but it’s not as nice.

Decorate with salted caramel popcorn…

EAT!

 

 

2 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Popcorn Baked Cheesecake

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