The ANZAC biscuit with a twist
April doesn’t just mean an extra long weekend for Easter in Australia, it also means that on April 25 every year, we have a national day of remembrance. This day of remembrance is called ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day, and originally marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. These days, the commemoration of our service people has widen to all of those who have served in all military operations that Australia has been involved in. This year is of particular significance, as 2014 marks the centenary of the First World War, so I thought that I would do a post about the ANZAC biscuit which is an Army biscuit that was a substitute for bread and known for its long shelf life. However, an ANZAC inspired cheesecake recipe in the latest issue of Super Food Ideas caught my attention. I love ANZAC biscuits, especially if they’re a bit chewy, but I love cheesecakes as well so to combine both is an idea worth pursuing! One thing to note about this cheesecake is that you have to start making it the day before you want to serve it because you need to refrigerate it overnight.This recipe serves 16.
Twisty Anzac cheesecake
1¼ cup (145g) traditional rolled oats
¾ cup (100g) plain flour
⅓ cup (30g) desiccated coconut
¼ cup (80g) golden syrup
⅓ cup (55g) brown sugar
500g cream cheese, softened
⅔ cup (150g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Golden syrup caramel
¼ cup (45g) brown sugar
⅓ cup (105g) golden syrup
2 tbs thickened cream
Preheat oven to 130˚C (fan forced). Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm (base) springform cake pan. Chuck the rolled oats, flour and coconut into a bowl and give it a bit of mix to combine.
In a small saucepan stir the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until everything has melted and is smooth. Take the butter mixture off the heat and set aside for a couple of minutes to cool for a bit, then add it to the coconut mixture. Using a spatula or spoon, mix everything until it is well combined and there aren’t any dry bits. Press the mixture over the base and sides of the cake pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until it’s light and fluffy. Chuck in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until it is just combined. Pour the filling into the cake pan. Pop the cake pan onto a baking tray and whack in the oven to bake for about 50 minutes, or until the filling is just set. You can test this by giving the cake pan a shake; the filling should just wobble a bit in the centre. Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for about an hour with the door slightly ajar. Then pull it out to cool at room temperature. Chuck the cheesecake into the fridge to set overnight.
While the cheesecake is baking, you can start making the golden syrup caramel. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until everything has melted and is smooth. Stir in the cream. Bring the syrup up to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes, then take it off the heat and cool for 20 minutes. Transfer the caramel to a bowl, cover it with cling wrap and chuck it in the fridge with the cheesecake and refrigerate overnight.
On the day you are serving the cheesecake, take the cheesecake and caramel out of the fridge and leave them to warm up at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. You may need to give the caramel syrup a zap in the microwave to warm it further. Just zap it at 15 sec intervals on high, making sure you give it stir at each interval. When the caramel is of pouring consistency, pour it over the centre of the cheesecake and serve.
Note: After eating this cheesecake over a few days, I found that it tasted better the longer you keep it as the sweetness of the caramel isn’t as intense. So, you might even want to experiment with making this cheesecake a couple of days before you serve it. I haven’t made any amendments to the original recipe. If you would like to see the original recipe, it’s on page 38 of the April issue of Super Food Ideas. Normally, you’ll be able to find recipes from this magazine online, on Taste.com.au, about a month or so after the publication. If you would like more information about ANZAC Day or ANZAC biscuits, check out the Australian War Memorial website.