25 February 2012

Banoffee Cheesecake

Ta-Dah! I'm pretty impressed with how this cheesecake turned out. Unfortunately I did not invent this recipe myself; the credit all goes to the very talented Nigella Lawson and her book, Kitchen. The only things I really changed were the amount of muscovado sugar (because I didn't have enough, so I replaced it with caster sugar) and the vessel in which it was cooked (casserole dish as opposed to spring form tin) because I wanted to make small slices due to the richness of the ingredients.

I've already had great reviews of this from my housemates and, having tried it myself, can tell you that it does indeed have the 'smoothest cheesecake texture that you'll experience', as claimed by Nigella. The only issue I really have with this cheesecake is that it isn't quite sweet enough, even with the toffee sauce. I don't know whether it's because my bananas weren't ripe enough or whether the recipe is simply lacking the correct amount of sugar. I also found the toffee sauce to be a little too fruity for me due to the golden syrup, so if I were to bake this again I would use the toffee sauce recipe from Nigel Slater's sticky toffee pudding, albeit slightly more indulgent.

Last week's cloud cupcakes got snapped up very quickly. I really loved the marshmallow-like texture of the meringue on top contrasting with the sponge, and of course the pretty colours! 

Tuesday was Pancake Day, so I took the opportunity to show you all how simple pancakes really are and how you can vary them however you like with my banana marsala pancakes (I'm having a bit of a banana moment). I also made Two Peas And Their Pod's Dutch baby pancakes, which literally disappeared in the space of an hour. I would definitely recommend them as they have just the right dose of chocolate and goo whilst still being pancakes.

Anyway, back to today's banoffee cheesecake! If you're not sure which cream cheese you should use, take a look at the post for the New York cheesecake, where I discuss the finer points of baking with cheese. It also really helps with this recipe if you have a food processor, or at least one of those hand-held soup blender things. I added sugar to the recipe below so hopefully the cheesecake will be sweet enough now.

Makes 20
For the cheesecake:
  • 250g Digestives
  • 75g Melted Butter
  • 700g Cream Cheese (this must be at room temperature to make sure the cake turns out smooth, according to Nigella)
  • 4 Ripe Bananas
  • 200g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 6 Eggs
For the toffee sauce:
  • 75g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 75g Butter
  • Preheat the oven to 170C/160C Fan. Find a casserole/lasagna dish that will fit into a roasting tin and then wrap the base and sides with a double layer of foil.
  • Crush the digestives into crumbs and stir them into the melted butter. Press the digestives into the bottom of the dish and then put it into the fridge.
  • Mash the bananas in a small bowl, then stir the lemon juice into them to stop them browning.
  • Put the cream cheese, muscovado and eggs into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the bananas and blend until smooth.
  • Make the toffee sauce by putting all of the ingredients into a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir occasionally until everything has melted, then leave to simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Pour half of the toffee sauce into the cheesecake mixture and blend to combine, then put the rest of the sauce aside (store it in a covered jug on the counter top overnight) and pour the cheesecake mixture into the casserole dish with the biscuits in it.
  • Fill the kettle and boil it.
  • Put the casserole dish (carefully, so as not to displace any of the mixture) into the roasting tin. Pour the hot water into the roasting tin, taking care not to splash any into the mixture, then carefully place the roasting tin with the casserole dish inside it into the oven. Bake for one hour - the cheesecake should be set on top with a slight wobble in the centre still.
  • Once the cheesecake has been removed from the oven, remove it from the roasting tin and allow to cool before placing in the fridge. If you have a cold kitchen (sometimes you can see your own breath in ours during the depths of winter) you can just leave the cheesecake out on the top overnight, as long as it is covered.

  • The next day, take a sharp knife and slice the cheesecake up into as many or as few slices as you like. Make sure you also draw the knife around the edge of the dish so that the cheesecake comes out more easily.
  • Use a bendy spatula to tease out each slice, then pile them up decoratively on a plate before drizzling the remaining toffee sauce over the slices.
The slices, pre-toffee sauce.
Interestingly, the cheesecake absorbed the toffee sauce after half an hour or so, so you should make sure that you only drizzle the sauce over just before serving.

For tips on how to make this dessert more healthy, take a look at Healthy(ish) Baking.

I had intended to make a Swiss roll as well this weekend, but I currently only have one egg in my possession and a Swiss roll, like the chocolate log, requires 8 eggs. I might go and buy some more either tonight or tomorrow morning, so look out of for a post tomorrow. If not, I might make it next weekend instead. 

I might make an oats apple crumble next week, or at least something similar, so look out for that too.

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