Holidays, birthdays, house-warmings, lazy afternoons… Kathleen Culver of The Floured Table might have just created the ultimate gingerbread cheesecake.
Kathleen’s blog is one of our favourite places to get baking inspiration: think coconut meringue cakes, port-wine-soaked cherry brownies, and rhubarb and apple pie with ginger and lemongrass to name a few. Kathleen has perfected classic recipes, but with a twist. Just like this Gingerbread Cheesecake with gin salted caramel sauce, for example…
GIN & GINGERBREAD CHEESECAKE WITH GIN SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
Serves 16. By Kathleen Culver.
- 1 ½ cups (125g) graham cracker crumbs (10 full sheets, finely ground)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup (75g) butter, melted
- 32 ounces (1 kg) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (85g) molasses
- ½ cup (120g) sour cream
- 1 tbsp Brockmans Gin
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
GIN SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE:
- 6 tbsp (85g) butter
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (250ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp Brockmans Gin
- 1 cup (250ml) heavy whipping cream, chilled
1. Place a 10 x 14 x 2 inch (25 x 36 x 5 cm) metal baking pan, roasting pan or broiling pan large enough to fit the springform pan on the centre rack of the oven and fill with 3/4 inch (2 cm) of water.
2. Line the base of a 9 inch (23cm) springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Wrap the exterior of the pan with aluminum foil (to prevent water entering the pan during baking).
3. Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter. Pour into springform pan and press firmly into base. Place pan into freezer to chill.
4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 C).
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment until smooth.
6. Add both sugars, molasses, sour cream, Brockmans Gin and spices. Mix on medium-low speed until well combined, scraping down the bowl to ensure cream cheese is fully incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, mixing just until blended before adding the next. Do not overmix.
7. Pour cheesecake filling into chilled base and rap the cheesecake firmly on the counter several times to pop any air bubbles that have formed during mixing.
8. Place cheesecake directly into hot water bath and bake for 12 minutes at 475 F (245 C). Reduce temperature to 350 F (177 C) and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and place onto a rack to cool completely. When cool, cover pan with foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
MAKE GIN SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE:
10. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and whisk until completely incorporated into the butter.
11. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, bubbles, and the colour reaches a deep golden brown. Keep it on the heat until it just begins to smoke – at which point you must quickly remove it from the heat.
12. Whisking constantly, very slowly pour the cream into the hot sugar mixture – be careful as it may sizzle and foam at the beginning. Continue to whisk until the cream is completely incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Be patient – this often takes a few minutes. If any of the sugar seizes, reduce heat to low and continue stirring until it melts again. When smooth, remove from heat.
13. Add the Brockmans Gin and sea salt to the caramel and stir well to incorporate. Set aside to cool slightly – it should be cool enough to touch comfortably but still warm enough to pour smoothly from a spoon.
14. This will make about double what you need to top the cheesecake, but an extra drizzle on individual slices is always welcome. Leftover gin salted caramel sauce can be placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
PREPARE WHIPPED CREAM AND SERVE:
15. Immediately prior to serving, remove side of springform pan from cheesecake and place base onto a serving platter.
16: Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the cream until medium-firm peaks appear and cream holds its shape. Scoop onto chilled cheesecake and swirl decoratively with the back of a spoon.
17: Drizzle the warm caramel sauce onto the whipped cream-topped cheesecake and serve.