Baked Macaroni n’ Cheesecake

Before I dive into the recipe, I want to tell you how this cheesy brainchild was born. I invited the girls over for a roast on Sunday, and promised them, well, a roast. However, the night before I drank just a littlleee too much, so instead of a pan roasted chicken and baby rosemary potatoes, all I could think about were carbs. And bacon. And cheese. And so I walked through the grocery store, collecting my hungover cravings. By the time I got to the checkout counter, it became apparent – we were having mac n’ cheese. But as this was Sunday dinner, I had to try and make it a little fancy, right? So I whipped out my bundt pan, buttered her up, and took your standard macaroni and cheese to a whole new, fancy-pants level!

I wont make you wait any longer, let’s get into the meat (cheese?) of this post! To make your macaroni and cheesecake, you will need:

– 1 bundt pan for baking, a large sauce pan for melting your cheese, a large pot for cooking your pasta, and a frying pan for your bacon and onions (yes, we need lots of pots and pans for this one!)
– 3 cups of cheese. I used 1 cup of sharp cheddar, 1 cup of parmesan, and 1 cup of gouda.
– 500g of macaroni (I like shells as they are perfect mini-cups for scooping up cheese).
– 300g of smoked bacon
– 1/2 cup of diced onions
– 2 cups of cream
– 1/3 cup of flour (and a bit more for dusting the pan)
– 1 cup of butter
– 5 eggs
– Salt and pepper to taste

Now, let’s get cooking! First you’ll want to prepare your macaroni. Cook the pasta according to the package, and set aside to cool.

Grate your cheese and throw it all into a big bowl. Heat up your frying pan, and as the pan gets warm, add a pat of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the bacon and onions into the pan. I used thick belly bacon (chopped) and small, diced onions. Cook the onions and bacon, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes – or until the onions are tender and golden. Now is a good time to turn your oven on. Pre-heat it to 350°F.Now it’s time to make your cheese sauce. Melt your stick of butter in a big sauce pan. Slowly sift the flour into the melted butter, and then, using a whisk, slowly mix in your cream. Now it’s time to add the cheese! Continue stirring with one hand, and with the other, sprinkle in your cheese, bit by bit. Once all of the cheese has been added, it’s time to pour the cheese sauce on top of the macaroni that has been waiting patiently. Keep about 1/2 cup of the melted cheese in your sauce pan (this will be the ‘topping’ for your cake later) and pour the rest into the bowl with the macaroni.Then, add the cooked bacon and onions, and mix everything together. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.Now you need to wait a bit for your cheese to cool. The next step is adding in the eggs, and if the cheese is too hot the eggs will start to cook, which we don’t want to happen until the ‘cake’ is in the oven (if the eggs start to cook too soon, they will not hold the cake together later). Set aside the cheesy pasta for about 5 minutes so it can cool (great clean up time!) Whisk your eggs in a bowl, and once the cheesy macaroni has cooled a bit, stir the eggs into the mixture.Now it’s time for some bundt pan action. This next step is SUPER essential – and I admittedly failed here. Butter your pan like a mofo and then flour it.If the pasta sticks to the pan, your cake mold wont hold, so this step is very important for presentation purposes!Pour your macaroni and cheese mixture into the buttered bundt pan, and gently pack it down.Now it’s time to throw everything into the oven!Cook the cake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch. When she’s ready, pull ‘er out of the oven and salivate. Doesn’t she look delightful??YUM! Now comes the tricky part. If your pan was properly buttered, the ‘cake’ should slide right out. Wait 10-15 minutes for the pan to cool, and then put a plate on top of the pan. With one hand under the pan and one hand on the plate, slowly rotate the two so the pan is facedown on the plate. Then, gently side the pan up, leaving the cake to slide out onto the plate.
Ta-da! If all goes well, you will be left with a beautiful macaroni n’ cheesecake! When you’re ready to serve, heat up the remaining 1/2 cup of melted cheese you’d set aside, and drizzle it on top of the cake. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to snap a photo of my completed cake (as I had guests arrive who wanted to EAT said cake while hot, and I didn’t want to subject them to the torture of waiting to consume this beauty). So I hope this last photo will do  Serve your cake with a big salad and a glass of cold vino.