This has to be the most delicious and most indulgent cheesecake I have EVER eaten! Just look at it! Seriously........ it screams 'EAT ME....... You know you want to........ Just pretend I am a low calorie, super skinny pud and worry about the guilty calories afterwards.......'
It is everything you expect from a banoffee and a cheesecake ............... crunchy biscuit base..... gooey caramel-coated banana...... rich, smooth, melty caramel cream cheese...... lightly whipped cream and freshly made decadent chocolate sauce. It is a completely 'push the boat out', extra special, 'icing on the cake' dessert that HAS to be experienced whether you are gluten free or not!
With Easter upon us it will truly impress........ but trust me, this is perfect for any celebratory gathering and will give slice after slice of 'Oohhhs' and 'Mmmmms' and smiley faces.
Feeling a bit 'caked-out', I made it for my birthday last week. Although with age, I generally try to let birthdays go increasingly unnoticed, when it comes to food, they are always a great excuse to play in the kitchen and to justify as much creativity as can be mustered in the time I can squeeze out of the day.
This particular dessert hails from sleepless, night-time inventiveness (am I the only one that spends far too much time mulling over foodie creations when I should be sleeping or conceiving dishes in my dreams?). Its biscuit case, which wraps snuggly round both base and sides, is made with crushed, oatie, gluten free chocolate digestives and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts and pecans for extra texture and flavour.
Held within, are layers of banoffee and cream cheese, made with a generous portion of Salted Caramel Sauce (I used one from the Sainsbury's Taste The Difference range to save time) which is both mingled into the bananas and incorporated into the filling. For good measure, the cake is topped with a lavish drizzle of chocolate sauce and an extra sprinkling of lightly toasted chopped pecans and Salted Caramel Chocolate Flakes (from Tesco's Finest range), which sit in delightful contrast against the creaminess of the cheese and neutral fluffiness of the cream.
Each mouthful is an experience to be savoured. As the flavours and textures merge and weave together on the tongue, you want each moment to last with the wanton enjoyment it brings. Although undoubtedly extravagant and even sinful, you have no choice but to surrender to the temptation it holds. Divine!
I am sharing my Banoffee Cheesecake (it's too good not to!) with :
Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too
Foodie Friday with Casa Costello
Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse
Food Year Link Up with Charlotte at My Recipe Book. This would make a stunning Easter pud!
Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.
Banoffee Cheesecake with Salted Caramel (makes one 9 inch round, deep cheesecake)
420g gluten free chocolate digestive biscuits
80g chopped walnuts and/or pecans
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 bananas - peeled and cut into chunks
2 to 3 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
1 additional banana - cut into slices
Caramel Cream-Cheese Filling
400g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
300g salted caramel sauce
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100ml double cream
125g dark and/or milk chocolate - chopped or broken into small pieces.
1 banana - sliced
1 dessert spoon salted caramel sauce
300 ml double cream
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts or pecans - lightly toasted
1½ tablespoons grated chocolate (I used salted caramel chocolate flakes)
- Biscuit Base - Base line a 9 inch (23 cm) round springform cake tin (at least 7 cm/3 inches deep) with baking paper and lightly grease the sides with butter. Pre-heat the oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2.
- Crush the biscuits into crumbs and mix with the chopped nuts. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the maple syrup.
- When liquid, add the biscuit mix and stir until fully combined.
- Spoon some of the mixture into the cake tin to make a base biscuit layer and compress hard with the back of a spoon. Gradually add the rest of the biscuits and ease and press against the sides of the cake tin, working your way round and up (tilt the tin as you go), pressing hard against the sides until you have an evenly spread biscuit border.
- Place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. When you remove from the oven, you may need to gently press the biscuit against the sides and base again (if any has slipped) as it is cooling to ensure a solid surround. Leave to cool and then place in the fridge until ready to fill.
- Toffee-Banana Layer - Place the butter and salt in a small saucepan and heat until melting and beginning to bubble lightly. Add the first 4 chopped bananas and stir, gently turning and frying for 2 to 3 minutes. The bananas may begin to disintegrate, which is fine.
- Remove from the heat. Add the caramel sauce and stir through.
- When cool, add the last chopped banana and lightly fold, so that you still have some whole fresh chunks.
- Spread the banana mixture onto the base of the biscuit layer evenly. Place in the fridge whilst you make the cheese filling.
- Caramel Cream-Cheese Filling - Place all the filling ingredients in a large bowl together and beat with an electric whisk until completely combined, smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin (it should come to the top of the biscuit sides), smoothing the top. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours and preferably over night to firm up.
- Before you decorate the cheesecake, you will need to remove it from the cake tin and place on your chosen serving plate. Carefully and lightly warm the sides of the tin using either a cooks blow torch or a cloth dampened with a little hot water, then gently open the spring clip allowing the tin to loosen and come away from the biscuit. Carefully remove.
- Use a palette knife to carefully loosen the base edges and then gently hold and lift the cake away from the base of the tin (easiest if you have a friend ready to ease it off and pull away the baking paper whilst you carefully support the biscuit case).
- Chocolate Sauce and Decoration - In a small saucepan mix the butter and cream and gently heat, stirring until melted and reaching a simmer (do not boil).
- Turn the heat down and add the chocolate, stirring thoroughly until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool, stirring occasionally.
- Whilst the sauce is cooling, slice the final banana and mix with a dessert spoon of caramel sauce, making sure the banana pieces are fully coated. Arrange a small pile of caramel-banana in the centre of the cheesecake.
- Whip the cream in a medium-sized bowl until it reaches firm peak stage (soft, but able to hold its shape well) and pipe round the top edge of the cheesecake.
- Sprinkle the toasted nuts over the banana decoration and grated chocolate on the cheesecake top.
- Drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated