This is great if you are entertaining as you can make the cheesecake a day ahead, then just decorate it when you need it.
1 & 1/2 cups gluten free biscuits (like a shortbread or other plain biscuit);
1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios;
125 g melted butter;
500g softened cream cheese (get it out of the fridge while you are preparing the base);
3 lightly beaten eggs;
125g castor sugar;
1 tsp vanilla extract;
2 tbsp gluten free cornflour (not the wheaten variety);
150g sour cream;
1 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp vanilla extract;
Extra pistachios for decoration.
Heat the oven to 150 celcius (140 fan forced). Combine the crushed biscuit crumbs, chopped pistachios and butter in a bowl, then press over the base and a little up the sides of a 23cm spring form cake pan.
Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cornflour and sour cream until the mixture is smooth. Pour into cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes, then turn the oven off without removing the cheesecake and let it cool in the oven for two hours (don’t open the door). Remove, cover with cling film and refrigerate. I left mine overnight but you could use it with a minimum of an hour’s refrigeration.
When almost ready to serve, transfer the cake to the serving plate while it is still cold from the fridge.
Place the sugar in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to a dark caramel. You can shake the pan occasionally to let the melted sugar mix with the unmelted sugar.
NOW, THE NEXT PART CAN BE DANGEROUS IF YOU AREN’T CAREFUL!!
Stand back a little and be careful – add one third of a cup of water, letting the bubbles subside if you need to before stirring with a long handled spoon. If you aren’t careful, the bubbling mixture can come up the spoon and burn you severely, so take care and make sure the kids (or the dog) aren’t underfoot at this point. Stir until the mixture is a thick liquid, but only just, because if you leave the caramel on too long, it can become bitter. Stir through the vanilla extract and pour over the cheesecake. Decorate with additional pistachios.
Allow it to stand for about 10-15 minutes before serving, to let the caramel set a little, and to prevent burning if people try to eat it while hot.