I have been looking for literally ANY EXCUSE AT ALL to use a jar of Joe & Seph’s salted caramel sauce in a recipe. In hindsight, now that I’ve tasted the sauce, I didn’t need to come across a recipe as an “excuse” – you can eat this stuff straight out the jar – but I’m glad I used it in this cheesecake as this sauce really is a thing of beauty.
If you’re not familiar with Joe & Seph’s, they’re an award winning gourmet popcorn company that can do no wrong. I’ve included their wares in loads of Food Favourites videos in the past (they’re the ones that made the infamous Marmite popcorn, but they’re also the folks behind the legendary gin and tonic popcorn as well as DOZENS of other clever concoctions) and whilst their range is magnificent and I’ve loved every flavour I’ve ever tasted, their original salted caramel popcorn is pretty hard to beat. When I realised you could buy the salted caramel sauce itself, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
But how would I use it? I could have just spooned it straight into my gob and blamed “cravings” but I’d fallen a bit in love with a Philadelphia advert that I kept seeing on TV for a salted caramel cheesecake, so this was what I chose to make. (Honestly, at one point I thought this advert was haunting me. Every time I turned on the telly it was there, begging me to cave and make it).
I essentially followed the Philadelphia recipe which I found on their website, except that I didn’t add pecans to the top and instead of making a salted caramel sauce I used the jar of Joe & Seph’s which I already had in the cupboard.
Hopefully I’m not breaking any laws by sharing my edited version of the recipe here (maybe if I say Philadelphia is the best and you should definitely buy Philadelphia I will get away with it?) but full credit for the main “base recipe” goes to Philadelphia. Although let’s also be honest, this is a very basic no-bake cheesecake recipe and most recipes you Google will essentially be the same.
- 250 g gingernut biscuits, blitzed to crumbs
- 90 g butter, melted
- Jar of salted caramel (obvs I’m recommending the Joe & Seph’s one that I used, but you can make your own salted caramel easily)
- 3 x 180 g cartons of Philadelphia Original (it’s important you stick to full fat for this, woo!)
- 200 ml whipping cream
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
- seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- Handful of popcorn to serve on top. (I used Joe & Seph’s peanut butter and chocolate popcorn for even more salty goodness)
1. Line the bottom and sides of a 23 cm spring form tin with parchment paper.
2. Mix the blitzed ginger biscuits and the melted butter together then tip in to the bottom of the lined tin, using the back of a wooden spoon or an angled palette knife to really push the biscuits base down. I like to use the base of a glass to really pack them in and smooth it all out. Then put this in to the fridge to firm up for 15 minutes or so.
3. Put the cream cheese into a large bowl with the cream, caster sugar and the vanilla and beat until smooth with an electric hand-held mixer.
4. Remove the tin from the fridge and spread two thirds of the salted caramel sauce onto the biscuit base. Then add the cheesecake mixture and carefully spread on top, smoothing it off nicely with an angled palette knife or the back of a spoon. Place the cheesecake in to the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to set. (I HIGHLY recommend you leave it overnight, it tastes considerably better the next day).
5. Once set, remove from the fridge and scatter the popcorn on top, then drizzle over the rest of the salted caramel to serve.
It really is that simple!
Now a fun extra thing you can also do is FREEZE THE CHEESECAKE. I cut a few slices and froze them to eat directly from the freezer as a cheesecakey ice-creamy treat and I do not regret it AT ALL. Frozen cheesecake is so so good, as the Americans will tell you. If you are going to eat the cheesecake frozen I’d recommend getting it out the freezer a few minutes before you want to serve it as it will be quite hard (like, battle through it with a fork hard – hence cutting the slices pre-freezing) but ST and I both agreed that as a frozen dessert it was particularly special. The popcorn doesn’t survive the freezer well so maybe remove this, but the sauce definitely does.
I wanted to also try it defrosted, but couldn’t stop myself from eating it frozen. So I’ll have to apologise, but I have no idea if it defrosts well. SORRY.
I implore you to spend this weekend making this cheesecake. You will thank me. I promise.