What you need
- 250g gingersnap biscuits
- 150g butter, melted
- 1 ½ tablespoons mixed spice
- 750g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 450ml cream, whipped to soft peak
- 1 1/2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
- 4 1/2 teaspoons gelatine powder
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 10 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, roughly crumbled
BROWN SUGAR MERINGUE
- 40g light brown sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 50g caster sugar
- 320g brown sugar
- 300ml pouring cream
- 80g coarsely chopped butter
- 40g golden syrup
- 40ml brandy
- Caramelised popcorn
- Christmas wafers
- Gingersnap biscuits
- Hazelnut chocolates
- Extra dark chocolate, melted, for drizzling
How to make it
- GREASE a high sided 25cm-round (base) spring form pan. Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and process until combined. Add the mixture to the tin and press over the base. Cover and refrigerate.
- ADD the PHILLY cream cheese, mixed spice, caster sugar and vanilla bean seeds to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until combined and the spices are fully incorporated. Separate a third of the mixture and place in the fridge for later use.
- PLACE 3 teaspoons of the gelatine powder in a small bowl. Top with 1 ½ tablespoons of boiling water and using a fork, whisk briskly until the powder has melted. Working quickly pour this mixture into the cream cheese mixture and mix until combined.
- GENTLY fold through the whipped cream then pour the mixture into the tin over the biscuit base. Tap the bottom to release any air bubbles then level top with a spatula. Cover and place cheesecake in the fridge until set, preferably overnight.
- REMOVE the remaining cheesecake mixture from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Place in a mixing bowl. Place remaining gelatine powder in a small bowl and top with remaining amount of boiling water, whisking with a fork. Add to the cream cheese mixture and whisk until fully incorporated. Top the set cheesecake section with the crumbled Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Scoop the cheesecake mixture over the top and return the cake to the fridge.
BROWN SUGAR MERINGUE
- Preheat oven to 120C. For the meringue, beat the eggwhites until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar, gradually beating until the whites are glossy and the sugar has dissolved. With motor still running, slowly add the brown sugar.
- Line a biscuit tray with baking paper. Spoon a large blob onto the tray and using the back of a spoon smooth the meringue to create a flat layer. This makes more than you need for the cheesecake so with any remaining mixture, make normal meringues for later use.
- BAKE meringue for about 50 minutes or until cooked and when tapped you get a nice hollow sound. Allow to cool before breaking into random sized shards and drizzling over the melted chocolate.
- STIR ingredients in a saucepan until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook until thick and syrupy (5-10 minutes).
- ADD a pinch of salt and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, gently scoop the caramel over the top of the cold cheesecake, using your spoon to push it over the sides to create a drip effect.
- IMMEDIATELY return to the fridge to lightly set. With the brandy in the caramel it won’t set as solidly as normal caramel but don’t worry, it layers and pools gloriously round the base of the cheesecake. Top the cheesecake with the topping ingredients – as much or as little as you like. Best served on the day of making.
Set in fridge for 6-8 hours, preferably overnight.
Recipe created by The Other Crumb.