Initially I thought that topping this cheesecake with candied crystallized ginger would be appropriate, but it turns out that bananas work much better with both the caramel and the cheesecake.
One substitute I did make from the original recipe, however, was to use Anna’s ginger thins instead of digestive biscuits, simply because I have never seen digestive biscuits in Seattle grocery stores I go to, and also heard that Anna’s cookies work really well for cheesecake crusts, in particular the ginger thins.
The only other substitute I made was to use double-dense caramel sauce, from the book, Caramel: recipes for deliciously gooey desserts
Ginger cheesecake with caramel bananas (based on this recipe from SBS)
300 g digestive biscuits (I used Anna’s ginger thins)
35 g caster sugar (for crust)
150 g unsalted butter, melted
300 g good-quality white chocolate buttons (I used almost a 12 ounce bag of white chocolate chips from Ghirardelli, because I had some already)
500 g cream cheese
225 g sour cream
90 g caster sugar
60 g stem ginger (preserved in syrup), finely chopped (I used crystallized candied ginger)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chilling time6 hours or overnight if possible
You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.
Preheat the oven to 150°C and lightly grease a 24 cm springform cake tin.
Place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs. Add the sugar and melted butter and pulse briefly to combine. Tip the mixture into the cake tin and press it into the base firmly and evenly.
Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. When completely melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl to loosen it, then gradually beat in the sour cream, sugar and eggs. Lastly stir in the melted chocolate and the chopped ginger.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until barely set. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside until completely cool.
Remove from the oven and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
To make the caramel, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan, add the lemon juice and stir to mix and make sure that all the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook undisturbed until the sugar starts to turn color around the edges. Gently swirl the pot to even out the color, until it reaches a medium light amber color. Remove from the heat source. From arm’s length, slowly add the cream. The mixture will bubble and steam. Be very careful not to expose your fingers and hand to the steam, using a whisk to mix in the cream until the caramel is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract when bubbles subside.
Serve the cheesecake drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with a few slices of banana.