Deconstructed saffron-caramel cheesecake

A cheesecake is something I believe was sent straight from heaven all the way to us.. what a gorgeous creation. Hats off to whoever came up with the idea of this amazing dessert. I am obliged to say sorry as I have ruined the divine creation. Yes, I destroyed it, I ruined it, I deconstructed it! Hold on..Hold on.. What does deconstructed mean? Is it the same as what I stated? No, it’s not. A deconstructed cheesecake is when individual layers of a cheesecake have been separately plated next to each other and drizzled with a certain type of reduced sauce. Now the question arises, why am I calling this a deconstructed cheesecake?.. Well this cheesecake is made unlike the common others, the top layer is a crunchy caramel, saffron reduction that sets on top of the cream cheese layer and hardens up. You cannot possibly cut slices of it without melting everything down.. hence to make sure that the top layer stays intact, You must force the pressure of your knife to get a rustic, uneven, broken “slice”. Hence I label it as “deconstructed” as all the layers get separated naturally. The crunchy, caramel layer makes the whole experience a lot more fancy and unique as the textures are very distinct yet form a lovely dessert all together. Trust me, you want to try it this way. With that concluding the introduction, I’ll take my apology back as I think that this recipe is infact so much better than the normal cheesecake. So now that I have given you a long head start, I know you want to rush to the recipe right away. Thanks for patiently reading all the way and now I hope that I have convinced you enough to read the entire recipe..

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time (for the caramel layer)- upto 5 minutes max.
  • Setting time (includes the setting of each layer) : 4-5 hours or overnight
  • Total time: 10 minutes+ setting time.

This recipe is for 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Biscuit layer:
    • 120 grams (small packet) of Marie biscuits. You may use any plain biscuits of your choice.
    • Melted butter – use salted butter (1/2 cup or more as required)
  • Cream cheese layer:
    • 1 cup of room temperature cream cheese
    • 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract/essence (use fresh vanilla bean seeds if possible)
  • Crunchy caramel, saffron layer:
    • around 1/2- 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
    • 1 tbsp of melted butter/indian margarine(ghee)
    • 15-16 saffron strands(to count)
    • a small pinch of cardamom powder or 1/4 tsp for precise measurement

Procedure:

  1. Start by preparing the biscuit base. Crush the Marie biscuits until very fine. Use a food processor or a mixer for ease. Then add in the melted butter and stir well (it should resemble wet beach sand (so adjust the butter accordingly). Then grease your cheesecake tin on all sides and layer in the biscuit base (make sure it is nice and even).. If there is excess, save it later for garnish. Set the base in the fridge for upto 20 -30 minutes.

    IMG_1227.JPG

    Even biscuit base in a well-greased cheesecake tin

  2. Once the biscuit base is set, start preparing the cream cheese layer. In a bowl whisk all the ingredients listed for the cream cheese layer until it is smooth and has no lumps. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature otherwise it will be very difficult to use. Using a spatula, pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit base (make sure that you wipe the bowl clean using a spatula). Put the cheesecake tin back in the fridge and set the cream cheese layer for 2-3 hours (I prefer over night).

    IMG_1231.JPG

    A nice, creamy and lump free layer. Perfect!

  3. Once the cream cheese layer is set, its time for a crucial step. It is very important that you stay patient and do it with full concentration. Start by adding in 1/2- 3/4 cups of sifted sugar in a broad skillet pan over low heat. It is important that you add the sugar before turning on the flame. Make sure the pan is bone dry and no moisture comes in contact with the sugar. Once the pan gets hot, the sugar should start melting down.. this is the first stage and you are not supposed to stir it for the first 30-40 seconds. The sugar will start melting on its own. The flame needs to stay on low heat.. once completely melted, add in a table-spoon of ghee or melted butter. Then stir well using a whisk or heat proof spatula (I simply used a spoon). Once mixed, increase the flame to medium-low flame and let the melted sugar caramelise. Do not panic as it starts changing into a deeper colour, it indicates that its getting caramelised. Once it has become a nice amber colour, turn the heat off. Observe the spoon in the picture below, this is the right colour and consistency:

    IMG_1239.JPG

    The right colour

  4. Once the caramel is ready, add the saffron strands and the cardamom powder(optional) and stir well. Let the mixture cool a bit (around 4-5 minutes). Once slightly warm but not hot, layer it on top of the cream cheese mixture and quickly spread it  (you have got to be super quick as the caramel hardens as soon as it hits the cold cream cheese. I simply use a ladle and start from the edges and come towards the centre and keep moving on to the other end as it ensures that the whole layer is formed evenly.IMG_1242
  5. Set the layer in the fridge for about an hour. Once set, demold out of the cheesecake tin and transfer to a plate. Using a long knife, crack into the caramel layer and slice down ahead (the cream cheese might spread out.. but thats the whole point :D). Plate up the deconstructed cheesecake “slices” and sprinkle extra biscuit crumbs on top (optional). Dig into it right away!!
    IMG_1243.JPG

    Yaaaaaaaas!

     

    Make this fun-filled and quick recipe and do not forget to let me know how it turns out to be by commenting on the recipe! If you enjoyed my recipe, share it and hit the thumbs up (like) button and do not forget to follow my blog!

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