The concept of a brûlée cheesecake came from Big S, as it’s a combination of her two favourite puddings, so this idea has been on the back burner until she came home for the holidays. I have to say, she must be a taste genius because it really is a superb combination!
I’m suddenly very into using passion fruits, they add such a wonderful tropical flavour and the sour edge they lend to a recipe can really offset the sweetness, making what could be a sweet dish into something well-balanced. That is definitely the case in point with this brûlée cheesecake – you might think a brûlée topping to a cheesecake might be too much but it really isn’t. Not only does the cheesecake have a slight sour edge thanks to the addition of a little bit of yoghurt, but the passionfruit adds an intensely tropical flavour with another sour note which contrast beautifully with the sweet crispy caramel topping and creamy cheesecake layer.
You could double the recipe to make one big cheesecake, but as the brûlée topping doesn’t really last and needs to be torched or grilled at the last minute, these cheesecakes work best in individual moulds; unless you know it’s going to be devoured in one sitting (which, to be honest wouldn’t be hard with this cheesecake!) then one big cheesecake would be a really wow dessert.
To make the brûlée topping either sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar onto each cheesecake and then caramelise with a blowtorch or under a grill, or use a ready made caramel powder, in which case you get a much more even finish because the caramel will only get back to the level it was caramelised to, so you won’t be able to over burnish your brûlée!
To make a caramel powder: Melt 200g caster sugar until a fully liquid and a beautiful golden colour, stir in 1 tsp dairy-free butter and 1 tsp vanilla and then pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Once it is cool, break into shards and place in a food processor to make a fine caramel powder. This will keep for ages as long as it’s in an air tight jar and no moisture gets in.
Passion fruit Brûlée Cheesecakes
- 80 g biscuits about 5 digestives
- 35 g dairy-free margarine
- 150 g dairy-free cream cheese I like Oatly creamy spread
- 25 g icing sugar
- ½ tsp dairy-free plain yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 passion fruits
- 4 tsp granulated sugar or caramel powder
- Crush the biscuits. Melt the margarine and pour over the crushed biscuits, mix well. Divide between the 4 ramekins and press down to make a nice even base. Place in the fridge to set.
- Whisk together the cream cheese, icing sugar, yoghurt and vanilla, set aside.
- Cut the passion fruits in half and spoon the pulp and seeds of ½ a passion fruit over each biscuit base.
- Spoon the cream cheese topping over each passion fruit topped biscuit base and level off to make a nice even top. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
- When you are ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tsp sugar or caramel powder over each individual cheesecake and caramelise with a blow torch or under the grill. Serve within 10 minutes so the caramel is still nice and crisp.