I started my career working at a leading law firm which had an in-house restaurant with an amazing pastry chef. Don’t get me wrong, I also worked with incredibly talented professionals from whom I learnt a ton. But the personal highlight of my legal career was the AMAZING cheesecake the pastry chef would make every week. The flavour changed every week. My favorite was the Bar One cheesecake. My friends would come over to my place every Friday they knew this flavour was on the menu and we would shamelessly finish it in 5 minutes, with people scraping the sides of the takeaway box to get every last crumb!
Fast forward to today – figuring out my career next steps has made me nostalgic for my law days. Since I can’t actually go and practise law right now, I decided to do the next best thing – I Googled cheesecake recipes until I came up with my own recipe for a Bar One baked cheesecake. And the result was pretty damn good (this has been verified by my Dad who has now decided that baking is in fact what my true calling in life is). The beauty of this flavor lies in the juxtaposition of the tangy cheesecake against the chewy caramel pieces in the base and the rich topping. Just make it and thank me later..
- 1 pack (~200g) Tennis biscuits or graham crackers
- 70 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 55g Bar One chocolate slab (if you are not in SA look for a chocolate bar that has caramel and nougat)
- 500g full fat cream cheese softened at room temperature
- 175 g castor sugar
- 260g sour cream
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- Optional – tbspn lemon or orange zest (if you want extra tang in the cheesecake)
- 2 55g slabs Bar One chocolate
- 2 pieces 85% Lindt dark chocolate
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 160 C.
Break up Tennis biscuits and place in a sealed Ziploc packet. Crush Tennis biscuits using a rolling pin until a rough crumb is formed and there are no big biscuit pieces left.
Place crumbled Tennis biscuits into a mixing bowl and stir in melted butter until fully combined.
Spread mix over bottom of a 26.5 cm x 26.5 cm baking dish until the base of the dish is completely covered. Some of the crumb mix might go up the sides of this dish, which is fine. Chop up 1 Bar One slab into small pieces and distribute evenly over the crumb and then push the pieces into the crumb. Smooth down the base using the bottom of a round glass or bowl and then bake in oven for 10 minutes.
Once baked, remove from oven and place in fridge to cool for 30 minutes. Leave oven on 160 C.
In a seperate bowl cream cream cheese for about a minute using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add in castor sugar and mix on medium speed until creamy and combined. Add in sour cream, vanilla extract and zest if you are using, and beat on medium speed until combined. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg is added. Mix on medium speed for an additional 30 secs – 1 minute until mixture is creamy and smooth.
Take base out of fridge and surround baking dish with a foil coating so that a 3-4 cm high foil ‘moat’ is created around the dish. Use heavyweight foil or two layers to ensure a strong ‘moat’ is created. Pour cheesecake mixture into baking dish pan over base. Boil water in kettle. Place baking dish onto an ovenproof tray and place in oven. Pour boiling water into ovenproof tray up to either the height of the tray or just below height of foil ‘moat’, whichever comes first. Baking a cheesecake in a waterbath helps to conserve moisture during the baking process and results in a creamier final texture.
Bake for 1 hour at 160 C. Cheesecake should be firm, but still jiggly when done. If it is still runny, bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. Once cheesecake is done, turn oven off and open door slightly and leave cheesecake to cool in the oven for another hour. Leaving the cheesecake in the oven to cool as the oven cools ensures a creamier and smoother final texture.
After an hour remove cheesecake from oven and leave to cool at room temperature for another hour.
Bring water to boil in a small pot on medium heat. Place cream, Lindt and Bar One in a heatproof bowl and place over boiling pot and stir gently until fully melted. Leave to cool for 10 -15 minutes depending on how cold your kitchen is – you want the mixture to cool to just above room temperature so that it doesn’t add heat to the cheesecake when spreading.
Spread Bar One topping over cheesecake and smooth using a spatula. Place cheesecake in fridge for four hours or overnight for best results before serving.
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