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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

The Sweet Journey: Delicious Cheesecake Toffee Caramel Recipe


Cheesecake Toffee Caramel
Cheesecake Toffee Caramel


I remember when I tried to make caramel. Countless times, I would sugar it up immediately and toss it, pure desperation, swinging between laughter and frustration.

After the tenth attempt, I ended up at Eleftheroudakis bookshop in Kifisia. I was a loyal customer, I enjoyed reading, and I always left with a handful of books. But this time, my question was about the recipe section. It was down in the basement, with some simple yet beautiful counters where you could sit and peruse any book you liked.

I gathered about a dozen books and began my search with determination. Caramel, how is caramel made, the secrets of caramel, the chemistry of caramel, everything surrounding caramel until I learned it, understood how it works, how it reacts. I kept on until I understood it so deeply that I began to feel it. I felt it. Yes, I felt it, and when you begin to feel something, it truly becomes knowledge. I became one with caramel, with its stages, "soft ball," "hard ball stage," "caramel."

You drop two or three drops into a glass of cold water, and depending on the degrees it has reached, with the evaporation of its moisture, these drops transform into soft little balls or hard caramels. You let it boil until it turns the golden-red color that gradually becomes a deep reddish-brown, and then you must quickly remove it from the fire because it continues to cook on its own. Independent of you, as if saying: 'I will decide when to stop.'

And then you must sense the moment it craves mischief, to take it out a little earlier and let it rest to allow you to collaborate with it, to create beautiful patterns on the marble, and then carefully take them and adorn your most beloved creations. You learn that it doesn't want a spoon, no, heaven forbid if you stir it with a spoon, it gets angry and solidifies, returning to its original, poorly formed sugar. It doesn't want splashes; it wants clean walls in the pot, it wants attention and a lot of love to keep it from burning you and to offer its beauty generously in the unique way it knows.


Cheesecake Toffee Caramel Recipe


Base

  • 200g vanilla cookies (see recipe on page 70)

  • 50g butter

  • 2 teaspoons of black sugar

Cream

  • 800g cream cheese

  • 160g sugar

  • 180g sour cream

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 full tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Butter Caramel

  • 160g sugar

  • 60g water

  • 140g cream

  • 60g butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Instructions


For the base, grind the vanilla cookies in a blender. Melt the butter and mix all the base ingredients until the mixture feels uniformly "muddy." Press the mixture into a 28cm diameter or square baking dish and refrigerate while preparing the cream.


pressing the cookie crumble mixture in a square pyrex
Base for Cheesecake Toffee Caramel


For the cream, in a clean bowl, beat the sugar with the cream cheese until it forms a smooth cream. Add the eggs one by one and continue beating at the lowest speed. Use a spatula to "scrape" around the bowl to ensure any cream cheese stuck to the sides is mixed in. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla and continue mixing at low speed.



hands adding the eggs in a bowl with cream
Preparing the cream for Cheesecake Toffee Caramel


Note: If not in a hurry, instead of mixer, use a big wooden spoon and stir the ingredients. This way you will keep your cream velvet, without incorporating air.



a hand beat the cream with a wooden spoon
beating the cream with a wooden spoon for Cheesecake Toffee Caramel


When the cream is well blended and smooth, remove the baking dish from the fridge and pour the cream over the crumbled cookie base.



a hand keeping a bowl, is pouring the cream for cheesecake in the pyrex
Pouring the cream for Cheesecake Toffee Caramel

Place the dish in the oven and bake at 100°C in a ventilated oven for 50 minutes.


Note: If you are using a gas oven, bake the cheesecake on the lowest rack, using the broiler (grill) setting for 20 minutes, or until the cream thickens. After turning off the heat, allow the cheesecake to rest inside the oven for an additional 15 minutes. The residual warmth of the oven will help the cheesecake continue cooking and develop its flavor.


In the meantime, prepare the caramel. For the butter caramel, you will need a deep saucepan to boil the syrup.


 the saucepan on a weight scale positioned on the table.
Saucepan for the preparations of the Toffee Caramel sauce


Add sugar, water and the vanilla. Stir at first to help the sugar dissolve, and then do not use the spoon again. The reason is that any sugar grains left on the spoon will crystallize the caramel.


a hand is pouring sugar in the pan
Pouring sugar for the Toffee Caramel Sauce

Tip: Cover the saucepan so that the steam can melt any sugar splatters on the sides of the pot. This will ensure a perfect and glossy caramel.


Let it boil until it reaches the deep red color of caramel. In the meantime, weigh the butter and cream to have them ready when needed. Caramel doesn't wait.



Weighing the cream
Weighing the cream

Once it turns a rich red color, add the cream and butter. Stir with a clean spoon until the caramel is smooth and continue to boil for another 5 minutes.


Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the caramel cool. Then, use a blender to blend it until it reaches a smooth and shiny velvet-like consistency.



blending the toffee caramel sauce
blending the toffee caramel sauce

When the dessert is ready, let it cool and place it in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 3 hours. Then, drizzle the dessert with the caramel.


Tip: If desired, you can lightly beat 200g of cream cheese with a tablespoon of icing sugar until the mixture is homogeneous and garnish the dessert with cream cheese rosettes around it.


Cheesecake Toffee Caramel Pieces on a plate
Cheesecake Toffee Caramel


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