Have you ever tried combining two baked treats together? I especially love doing this so I can enjoy a mix of textures and flavours in one bite. Try doing this clever technique by baking a creme brulee cheesecake. With this cake on the table, you now have a good excuse to have two desserts instead of one!
The idea of having forkfuls of crunchy caramel, custard-like cheesecake, and cookie crust made me interested in giving this recipe a go. Plus, anything that will let me create something delightful using my blowtorch is enough to get me excited. I remember using a blowtorch for the first time to caramelise the top of my lemon meringue. Ever since then, a blowtorch has been a magical kitchen tool for me.
If you are planning a special lunch or dinner, this creme brulee cheesecake is the perfect end to your lovely meal. I recommend serving it with berries as the sourness of the fruit complements the sweetness of the cake. Enjoy baking this indulgent dessert and leaving your guests speechless!
- Digital weighing scale
- Mixing bowls
- Hand mixer
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment
- Food processor
- Rasp grater
- Measuring jug
- Silicone spatula
- Egg separator
- 20cm springform pan
- Roasting pan (or any oven-safe pan bigger than the springform pan)
- Aluminium foil
- Kitchen blowtorch
- Piping bag with star tip
- Kitchen shears
- Paring knife
- Chopping board
- Plastic wrap
- Cooling rack
- 200g butter cookies
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- 80g granulated sugar
- 610g cream cheese, room temperature
- 240g granulated sugar
- 2g salt
- 10g vanilla extract
- 180g egg yolks (about 9 to 10 pieces)
- 305g whipping cream
- 2g lemon zest
- Granulated sugar
- Strawberries (or any fruit in season, optional)
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Mint leaves (optional)
- Line the removable base of your springform pan with aluminium foil then lock it into place. Cover the entire bottom of the pan with foil. This will prevent water from seeping into your pan during bain-marie baking. Set the pan aside.
- To make the crust, use a food processor to pulse the butter cookies into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar and mix until well combined. Mixture should look and feel like damp sand.
- Press the crumbs into the bottom of your prepared pan. To make it a flat, even layer, use the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake the crust at 180C for 10 minutes. After baking, turn down your oven temperature to 160C, then set your crust aside and let it cool while you make the cheesecake filling.
- Put your soft cream cheese into a bowl then beat it until slightly smooth using a hand mixer. Gradually add the sugar then the salt and vanilla extract. Continue beating until smooth. Set aside.
- Place your egg yolks in the mixer bowl and whisk it at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until pale.
- While you are mixing, start warming your cream and lemon zest in a saucepan. Do not let it boil. After a minute of simmering, transfer your warm cream into a measuring jug.
- Gradually pour your cream into the eggs while your mixer is still mixing. This will help prevent the mixture from curdling. Once all the cream has been added, mix in the cream cheese mixture. Make sure to scrape the bowl in between mixing to prevent any lumps.
Baking and Decorating
- When your mixture is ready, pour it into your pan with the baked crust. Place your springform pan into a roasting dish then fill it with hot water, about halfway up the cheesecake pan. For safety, pull the oven rack halfway out of the oven then place your baking pan on it. Carefully pour your hot water into the roasting pan then gently slide the oven rack back into place.
- Bake your cheesecake at 160C for 1 hour and 30 minutes. After the first hour of baking, you may need to refill the roasting pan with more hot water so check it around this time.
- To know when your cheesecake is done, give your springform pan a slight shake. The centre of your cheesecake should jiggle a little but no longer liquid or runny. Make sure to take the cake out of the oven with its centre a little soft to avoid over baking it.
- To avoid having cracks on top of your baked cheesecake, as soon as you finish baking it, turn off the oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar, then let the cake cool in the oven. You can also take it out then let it cool while still in the hot water bath so the cake can cool down gently without any drastic change in temperature.
- Once the cake is cooled completely, cover the top with plastic wrap then chill it for about 3 hours to overnight.
- To decorate, unmould the chilled cheesecake then sprinkle granulated sugar over the top. Turn on your kitchen blowtorch and start caramelising the sugar. Keep the torch moving at all times to prevent burning the sugar. This may take a few minutes. Let the sugar harden.
- You can now serve your cheesecake to your guests or make it even prettier with halved strawberries, whipped cream, and mint on top.
- Want to serve your guest with a cleanly sliced cheesecake? Run your chef’s knife in hot water, wipe it dry with a paper or clean tea towel, then slice. Do this step again after making one cake slice. This technique will prevent your cheesecake from sticking to the blade.
- If you don’t have butter cookies on hand, you can use any vanilla biscuit, gingersnaps, or graham crackers. You can even substitute a part of the crushed cookie weight with your favourite nut.
- Caramelised sugar may soften and become runny if you place your decorated cheesecake in the fridge. To keep the top crunchy, decorate it a few hours before serving it. Alternatively, you can use this same recipe to make around three mini cheesecakes (using 11cm springform pans). Serve one mini cake for dinner then wrap and freeze the rest for decorating later.