Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sweet 'n Salt Popcorn Cheesecake

The lovely people at Metcalfe's sent us a rather exciting parcel recently - a sample box of some of their most popular healthy snacks. As we have been munching on their delicious sweet 'n salt topcorn (that's popcorn incase of any confusion)  for over a year now, we were more than happy to take a look at some of their newer products, and they even inspired us to incorporate some of their goodies into an impressive and inventive dessert.

Although their best-selling sweet 'n salt is undoubtedly our favourite, their newer skinny corncakes are also a hit. With a generous layer of milk chocolate coating each corncake, they taste considerably more indulgent than they actually are, totalling just 118 calories per bag! A really tasty snack for those of us already thinking about the bikini bod. Our favourite savoury snack would have to be the cheese louise skinny corn'ers, which are a bit like healthy, gluten-free Doritos, without compromising on moreish cheesy flavour.  Regrettably we weren't such big fans of the heat 'n sweet topcorn, however if you like a bit of spice they could be right up your street! Metcalfe's also do numerous other flavours of their skinny topcorn, corners and corncakes, ranging from wasabi to cinnamon, so make sure you check them out here:

If snacking on them isn't enough for you, here is a rather more calorific way of consuming your favourite Metcalfe's topcorn. The sweet and saltiness of the caramel sauce and popcorn work well with the smooth, tangy cheesecake filling. Be warned though - unlike many of our recipes this one is quite time-consuming, although we think the end result is definitely worth it!

Salted Caramel and Popcorn Cheesecake

You will need...

80g butter
12 digestive biscuits

800g soft cheese
270g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
4 eggs
150ml sour cream
150ml double cream

For the salted caramel sauce...

85g soft brown sugar
55g butter
3 tbsp double cream
Generous pinch of sea salt 

(basically the same sauce we used on our Salted Caramel Pancakes)

You will need to...

- Place the biscuits and butter in a food processor and blitz until sand-like.
- Press this mixture into a 7 inch loose-bottomed tin with the back of a metal spoon. Place the tin on a sheet of foil and fold upwards until it comes halfway up the tin. Repeat with another layer - this is to ensure that the tin is water-tight when cooking the cheesecake.
- Bake the cheesecake base in the oven for ten minutes at 180C
- Place the soft cheese in the cleaned food processor and beat until smooth. Add in the vanilla, salt and eggs - beating well between the addition of each egg.
- Finally blitz in the sour cream and double cream until smooth.
- Pour the mixture onto the now cooled buttery biscuit base. If there is excess cheesecake mixture save it to make another smaller one!
- Place the cheesecake tin into a high sided baking tray, and place in the oven at 170C. Fill the baking tray with boiling water until it comes halfway up the cheesecake tin. Leave to cook in the oven for 1 hour 30 mins or until the cheesecake barely wobbles in the middle. 
- Leave to cool in the tin, then place in the fridge to set for a few hours.
- When ready to serve, make the salted caramel sauce by melting the butter, soft brown sugar and cream in a small saucepan. Stir in enough sea salt to taste.
- Gently remove the cheesecake from the tin, place on a plate using a palette knife, and pour over the caramel sauce.
- Top with your favourite flavour of Metcalfe's Topcorn - we went for sweet'n salt!

Enjoy! C & Z x

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