bbc with whiskey sauceI have a bit of a love / hate affair with food trends. Bacon in everything – including donuts and ice cream just does not appeal to me. Most bacon is loaded with nitrates and while I’ll fully admit that a plate of bacon and eggs is pretty damn tasty – I’m not a huge fan of processed meat. Neither am I a fan of deep-fried things – I don’t even want to try deep-fried turkey, deep-fried Mars Bars, or deep-fried pickles. 

So I’ve approached the salted chocolate, salted caramel, salted-everything craze with a little scepticism.

Still, I happen to think salt is a pretty critical ingredient and am not adverse to placing the salt on top of something, where once upon a time – it would just have gone into the ingredients without attention being drawn to it. And I admit to having speciality salts in my kitchen. I’ve currently got a Himalayan and a Sicilian salt, both of which may or may not be a con but do taste extremely good.

And if you’re concerned about salt in your diet – don’t rush to give it up quite yet. First, read this excellent article in the NY Times about the flimsy evidence against salt.

If you share my scepticism about food trends – this baked Baileys cheesecake might just be the antidote. It’s a practically perfect cheesecake – not overly sweet, dense and creamy, there’s no salt at all added to the actual cake, and the combination of flavours is beautiful.

I normally like fruity desserts but with St. Patrick’s Day looming, I thought an Irish-type cake might be in order. You can make your own inexpensive Irish cream – see the recipe by clicking here. The salted caramel Irish Whiskey sauce can be made with whatever whiskey you have on hand – and if you don’t want to use whiskey – you could just use a glug of pure vanilla essence.

Sláinte!

Baked Baileys Cheesecake (recipe adapted from an old Harrowsmith Cookbook)

3 – 250 gram packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream (see recipe for homemade Irish Cream here) or for an alcohol-free version – substitute 1/2 cup of creamy coffee

Crust Ingredients:
200 grams digestive biscuits (I used about 20 Peak Frean’s LifeStyle Bran Crunch biscuits)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 300°F and place oven rack in the centre of the oven.

To make the crust – pulse the biscuits in the food processor to large crumbs. Combine crumbs and melted butter and press evenly onto the bottom of a lightly greased 8″ spring-form pan.
Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until there are no lumps. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing very briefly each time (do not over mix). Stir in the Baileys Irish Cream and vanilla.
Pour into the prepared pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 60 minutes or until the top looks MOSTLY set. Try to resist opening the door until the 60 minutes is up. Turn the oven OFF and leave the cake in the oven for at least another hour or several until the oven has fully cooled.

Once the oven has cooled, remove the cake, run a butter knife or spatula-style-knife around the edge of the cheesecake and chill the cake in the pan for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Once the cake is well-chilled, spread with Baileys whipped cream and serve the caramel Irish Whiskey sauce on top and/or on the side.

Baked Baileys Cheesecake

To make the Baileys Whipped Cream – whip 250ml of whipping cream to firm peaks, then add 1-2 tbsp of Baileys Irish Cream and 1 tbsp icing sugar and whip briefly to combine.

To make the Salted Caramel Irish Whiskey Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup light cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Irish Whiskey (or whatever whiskey you have on hand)
sea salt or coarsely grained salt to finish

Mix the brown sugar, cream, and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while stirring gently until the mixture thickens – this will probably take about 5 minutes. Keep the heat low or the mixture will go grainy. Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey. When the sauce cools enough not to melt the whipping cream on the cake – drizzle over cake and finish with a light sprinkle of sea salt or other coarsely grained salt. baked baileys cheesecake slice

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36 thoughts on “baked Baileys cheesecake with a salted caramel Irish whiskey sauce

  1. Deep-fried pickles? Gross! Do people actually do that?
    Otherwise, I must say: what a decadent cheesecake! It looks delicious! I am glad you went for salted caramel, I am not sure how “trendy” it is here in France, since it has been done for ages in Brittany, where it is used as a garnish for sweet crêpes (and usually what I get if it is on a menu). I guess it has something to do with the fact the Breton people usually use salted butter in their pastries.
    Great post anyway! Thanks

      1. So, I just did a quick research to confirm what I just said, and here is what I found: in 1343, the king of France, Philippe the 6th, created a tax on salt called “the gabelle”. Brittany was not yet part of France then, so salt was cheap there, and people used much more of it, it wasn’t a luxury product as it was in the regions ruled by the king. That’s how salted butter came into being.
        As to making caramel out of salted butter, it is a more recent invention; it was created by Henri Le Roux in Quiberon, in 1977 (his caramels are AMAZING).
        Now I feel like writing a post on salted caramel!

      2. Fantastic – I’m looking forward to that post. One of the things I love about food blogging is the connection to others around the world and the stories behind the food. I’ll watch out for your salted caramel post!

  2. I’m going to try this as I really love cheescake. i think I will impress my friends when we gather for a combined meal and I offer to bring the cheescake!
    As far as food trends go I prefer the simple and seasonal locally produced foods ( exceptions for cheesecake mind you).That is my farm heritage I suppose.

    1. Agree entirely! I like to eat simply with fresh local things – but also – every now and then – like to kick up my heels and have a party in the kitchen! I hope you love the cheesecake when you make it. And thank you for reading and commenting – always enjoy seeing you here.

  3. – Totally agree with you about bacon in everything – even though I do like a little in salads. You may have noticed. Shant be buying the bacon chops again, though. And I do try and stay off processed meats as they are potentially very harmful in large doses – apparently.
    – Even though I’m not into desserts you have me here! As for salted caramel, it’s something I’ve known about for years but have never tried it. Lastly, I studied catering very close to the Bushmills distillery. These days I never touch the stuff, excepting your delicious cheesecake – off course!

  4. I completely agree about food trends. Food should be classic and timeless like a good cheesecake. And it should be about eating something delicious, not some flavor combination that everyone else is trying. Wonderful post.

      1. Thank you! You are so kind! The salt post was definitely one of my favorites to write. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve very much enjoyed reading your blog as well!

  5. -I agree with your thoughts on food trends.
    -This recipe looks/sounds very delicious. Although every recipe should be created as it is called, since I don’t consume alcohol, I will use vanilla. Thank you for mentioning the substitute.
    Fae.

    1. Thank you Fae – so nice to hear from you! And yes – it will be every bit as good without alcohol which is actually quite unnecessary. In the cheesecake itself – you could use half-a-cup of creamy coffee. I’ll go back and edit my post to say that. 😉 Lindy

    1. Aarrggghhhh yes! Foam! Horrendous! So many fabulously ridiculous food trends! And taking the salt out of a recipe and then putting it on top is actually kind of funny. But – hmmm – allowable AND tasty!
      🙂

  6. wow. I know what you mean about food trends. I actually stayed away from sun-dried tomatoes back in the 80’s because of its prominence in nouvelle cuisine. Fortunately I got over that. But I won’t try bacon chocolate. That’s where I draw the line.
    But this pie looks incredible!!! I don’t care if it’s trendy or not!!!

    1. This made me laugh – I also love sun-dried tomatoes. So some trends it seems – are fabulous – and bacon chocolate- not so much! Ditto bacon donuts.
      This cheesecake is a bit too good – I need to run today and probably all week…. 😉

  7. Mmmm baileys + cheesecake = my kind of dessert. Does it have to be st. patrick’s day for me to try this one?! LOL!

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