If you’ve been reading for a while, you might know that I have a distinct fondness for sticky date pudding. Come winter, it’s one of the things I crave the most. In fact, I’d go so far to say that I’d ask for it as part of my last meal, or wish it to be one of my few possessions on a desert island. This year I wanted to do something a little bit different, since I have already posted multiple pudding recipes over the years (always in August… coincidence?) and I decided to turn it into a cheesecake.
It’s a funny story really, I thought I was being a bit clever with this flavour combination and set about combining a few different recipes to give me the perfect sticky date cheesecake. I had already made the gingernut crust base (I love gingernut biscuits!) and the sticky date filling. As I was unwrapping the cream cheese from the packaging, what was the recipe on the back? Sticky date cheesecake!
Crazy coincidences aside, I stuck to my recipe and I was so happy with how it turned out. I have issues with really dense, heavy cheesecakes and can usually only manage a few bites of them before throwing in my dessert fork in defeat, but this one is the perfect texture. In fact, it’s deceptively light, considering that there’s half a kilo of cream cheese in it! I used a recipe that I had made before (but never got around to blogging) and substituted caster sugar for brown sugar, which was just lovely with the dates.
No sticky date pudding is complete without an awesome caramel sauce. I tricked mine up with a good glug of bourbon and some sea salt. This sauce is also totally amazing over ice cream, in the rare case that you have any leftover. Or, make extra and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Sticky Date Cheesecake with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Adapted from taste.com.au
• 1 x 250g packets gingersnap biscuits
• 125g butter, melted
• 2 x 250g packets cream cheese, room temperature
• 200ml sour cream
• 100g brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
Sticky Date Mixture
• Melted butter, to grease
• 1 ½ cups seedless dates
• 1/3 cup bourbon
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
• 1 cup pouring cream
• 60g butter, chopped
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons bourbon
• Big pinch sea salt
Brush a 24cm springform pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until combined. Transfer to the prepared pan and press firmly over the base. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
Place the dates and bourbon in a saucepan over low heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Place into a food processor with 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and pulse until it becomes a smooth mixture. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Place the cream cheese, sour cream and brown sugar in the bowl of stand mixer and mix until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Pour half the cream cheese mixture onto the prepared biscuit base, then spoon in the sticky date filling. Swirl with a skewer and then pour the remaining cream cheese mixture on top. Bake for about 1 hour or until just set. Turn oven off and cool inside with the door ajar, for 1 hour. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to chill.
To make bourbon caramel sauce, place the cream, butter, sugar, bourbon and sea salt in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, bring to the boil and cook for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Set aside and allow to cool.