Caramelized Cheesecake Shards are a thing, yes… sort of. Well, I guess I’m the first person doing it, so IF it becomes a “thing” – remember you heard it here first 😉
What are Caramelized Cheesecake Shards?
They are thin discs of cheesecake that have been baked in the oven until they are golden brown around the edges. Think of them as thin cheesecake cookies made from cheesecake batter.
How Did They Originate?
The idea for this creation was a number of factors really.
First of all, I am an artisan baker insisting on using ONLY delicious ingredients as decorations and ZERO FONDANT, buttercream ornaments, modelling chocolate or gum-paste.
Chocolate shavings and nuts make great cake decorations, but you can’t really put them on every single cake.
Doing so makes your menu look a tad monotone eventually, which is why I’m always looking for new, TASTY decoration ideas.
There’s an absolutely delectable muffin I’ve been baking for coffee shops in particular for 5 and a half years now – Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Muffins.
This is not a “new” idea, I mean the basic recipe idea has been around for years, BUT I created my own spin on the cream cheese filling. It’s not just made up of cream cheese, but rather a type of cheesecake mixture – without any eggs.
When these muffins bake, this filling tends to ooze out a bit onto the baking tray below. These blobs obviously get exposed to more heat from the oven and the direct contact with the baking tray makes it cook faster and caramelize.
Over time I even started overfilling these muffins “by accident” so that more filling would bake out and I would have more caramelized cheesecake bits to feast on! SO YUMMY!
After about 4 and a half years of full time baking, I decided I want to make a cake full of the stuff that I LOVE.
This included a proper, soft, moist, super flavourful vanilla cake (recipe in resource library) with my ultimate vanilla frosting, salted caramel, a little bit of chocolate ganache and these caramelized cheesecake bits that I just could not get enough of!
I made the cheesecake mixture as usual, except this time I added a bit of egg to help with the post-baked stability.
I smeared thin circles of it onto a WELL greased baking tray, baked it until deeply golden around the edges and there it was.
I’m now using these caramelized cheesecake shards as flavourful decorations on 3 different cakes in my home bakery.
I’ve even added sprinkles on top of the cheesecake circles before they go in the oven to create fun fetti caramelized cheesecake shards!
Although they are crisp for the first few hours after baking, they will lose that crunch quite soon. I do not see these shards as a “crunch” element in my bakes, but rather a flavour element. It also doesn’t hurt that they look super cool, right? 😉
How to make Caramelized Cheesecake Shards!
- 20 g Egg
- 120 g Plain, non-aerated Cream Cheese (about 25% fat), COLD
- ¾ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 30 g Icing Sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/356°F.
- Beat the egg and cream cheese together in a medium sized bowl till completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again till smooth.
- Beat in the Icing Sugar and vanilla extract till completely combined. Set aside.
- Grease a large baking tray SUPER WELL with non-stick spray. Spread identical-ish blobs of the mixture out fairly thinly (about 2mm thickness) and evenly onto the bottom of the tin.
- Reduce oven temperature to 175°C/347°F and bake cheesecake mixture for around 30 mins. Keep an eye on it as it can catch and burn quite easily. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time for more even caramelization.
- When the cheesecake shards are half golden brown and half white, they are done baking, remove them from the oven.
- Leave them to cool on the tray completely. Slide a knife underneath each disc of caramelized cheesecake to loosen it from the baking tray.
- Cut into shards as desired and use to decorate your cakes as desired! It’s so delicious that I even crumble it up between cake layers.
Thanks so much for reading! If you give this recipe a go, tag me @philosophyofyum so that I can see your work.
See you again soon