Honey and Cinnamon Cheesecake

Of all the people I make food for, my number one priority in life is my boyfriend, Cameron. He's what motivates me to learn and try new things and attempt to impress him with some crazy dessert. He gets to eat almost everything I make, the only exception being commissions, really. I'll upload snaps of my cakes to Facebook and people will be quick to tell him how lucky they believe him to be. They think he must get the most amazing, whimsical cakes for his birthday. They think him blessed to be able to request from me to bring anything to life via this edible medium. But the reality is that he wants none of that. At heart, he's a simple man.

So when his 30th birthday rolled around I wanted to make him something impressive to mark the occasion.

He just wanted a cheesecake.

I eventually gave in to his wishes. I got him involved with the process, which is always a mistake. We're both indecisive at the best of times, but put us together and you begin to think a glacier could move faster than our decision making process. After he listed some dozen cheesecakes he wanted, I somehow managed to get him to narrow it down to four options. I chose the one that gave me the most creative possibilities and involved at least a little technique.

This cheesecake base differs from most because it begins with a little praline.

The praline is crushed up with the biscuits.

Then mixed with butter before being pressed into the pan.

I then baked the crust in the oven for a moment before proceeding as usual.

Then I covered it with a layer of cinnamon and swirled it to give a bit of texture. But if you prefer it neat then feel completely free to leave it as is.

I decorated it with some wafers and some macarons and we’re done!

The macarons are chocolate with a caramel filling. I have to do a bit more playing with the macaron recipe before I share it, as I wasn't entirely happy with how they turned out aesthetically.

The crust of this cheesecake was a particular highlight for me. It turned out tasting a bit like butternut snaps – perhaps my favourite biscuit.

This cheesecake is a frozen dessert, so you'll need to give it plenty of time to set. We ate it at various states of frozen and semi-frozen after travelling back and forth between his house and mine. It was nice either way, but I think we all agreed that frozen is best. It ends up tasting a bit like frozen yoghurt and, as Cameron so gleefully pointed out, it tastes more refreshing so there's more room for seconds!

This recipe has no gelatine, so it's great for anyone who struggles with it. It also has no added sugar like most cheesecakes, so it's important to get sweetened condensed milk or you'll end up with something that tastes a bit bitter and almost savoury.

Honey and Cinnamon Cheesecake

Ingredients

50g flaked almonds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup tepid water
200g plain, sweet biscuits

100g unsalted butter, melted
250g mascarpone cheese
250g cream cheese, room temperature
400g sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup honey
300ml cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Line a baking tray or cookie sheet with foil. Spread almonds over it in an even layer.
  2. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, without stirring, and allow to boil until it turns a deep golden colour. If you have a candy thermometer, the perfect crack stage occurs when it reaches (150°C/300°F).
  3. Remove toffee from the heat and immediately pour over the almonds on the tray. Leave to cool completely. Meanwhile, to clean the messy, sticky pot and utensils you're left with, refill the pot with water and allow it to boil away on the stove until the residual toffee has dissolved – then it is safe to dispose of.
  4. Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced/300°F). Grease and line a 23cm springform tin with baking paper or acetate.
  5. Once your praline is set, break it up and add it to a food processor with your biscuits. Process until finely crumbed. Stir in the butter, then press into the base and sides of the tin.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.
  7. To make the filling, beat the mascarpone cheese and cream cheese until well combined. Beat in the honey and condensed milk. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peak, then fold into the cream cheese mixture a third at a time. Pour mixture into the tin and smooth the surface.
  8. Sprinkle the cheesecake with cinnamon; swirl gently with a skewer, being careful not to over-mix.
  9. Freeze until firm (several hours or overnight), then decorate as desired.

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.

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2 thoughts on “Honey and Cinnamon Cheesecake

  1. You pretty much summed up everything I was going to say about this in your post. Thanks again for making this. Such a delicious and refreshing cake. Each time I finished a slice, I was looking forward to the next time I could have it.

  2. I tried to bake this one but it got a bit too liquid inside. I don’t know if this was caused by the German ingredients or just by me. Nevertheless, after a whole day in the fridge and the adding of cream stabilizer it was still liquid but very delicious 😀

    Probably I’ll try it again later…
    Greetz from Germany!

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