Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cheesecake


I've been waiting & waiting for my brother-in-law's birthday so I could make this cheesecake.  I saw a version of it a few months back and knew it would be the perfect cake for him.  Chocolate.  Caramel.  Pecans.  Cheesecake.  Delicious.
I did decide to make a couple of changes; I wanted to use a salted caramel sauce - because it's my fav.  And I went with a New York style cheesecake from Annie's Eats because it sounded just too good not to try.  The final combination of everything - amazing!  Everyone in my family loved it. And I'm feeling sad that our leftovers are gone already.  :(

Happiest birthday to Justin {aka Uncle Jojo}!!  

Also, that night while I was praying with the boys, I said, "thank you for Uncle Jojo and that we got to celebrate his birthday and help him to have a great year". When I was done, Linc said, "why'd you say for Uncle Jojo to have a great ear, what's wrong with his ear?"  Haa!! Love it!



Chocolate Salted Caramel Cheesecake

For the crust:
32 Oreo cookies, finely processed into crumbs
5 1/3 tbsp. salted butter, melted and cooled

Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Combine the Oreo crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl and stir until all of the crumbs are moistened. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Put the crust in the freezer to set while preparing filling.


Cheesecake:

2 1/2 lb. (5 8-oz. pkgs.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks plus 6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate {cut or break into small pieces if not using chips}
1 tsp. vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place the chocolate and vegetable oil in small microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave on medium for one minute. Stir. If needed, continue heating and stirring the chocolate in 30-second increments until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften it slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape the beater and the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a rubber spatula; add the salt and about half of the sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; beat in the remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the egg yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the remaining eggs 2 at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions.
Pour about 1/3 of the cheesecake filling into a medium bowl and add the cooled melted chocolate. Stir until combined.
Remove crust from freezer and set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills in case the pan leaks. Pour the chocolate cheesecake filling into the crust first, then pour the remaining filling into the crust up to the brim of the crust/pan {you may not need to pour in all the cheesecake filling depending on the size of the pan you used}. Bake 10 minutes; without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until the cheesecake reads about 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, prepare the caramel.


Salted Caramel:

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter cubed
2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool. {If you still have some lumps in the caramel after it has cooled - strain it through a fine mesh strainer}.  Store, covered, in the fridge.


Ganache:

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let stand 1-2 minutes, then whisk together until a smooth, thick ganache is formed.
Let the ganache sit to thicken a bit so that it is suitable for spreading. (To speed thickening, place the bowl in the fridge or freezer and whisk every 10 minutes to ensure even cooling until the desired consistency is reached.)


Roasted Pecans:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and roast for about 10-15 minutes or until browned and fragrant.  Let cool.


Assembly: Remove cheesecake from fridge.  Place it on a plate or cake stand.  Remove the sides of the spring form pan.  Pour the salted caramel on top of the cake {as much as you would like}.  Put back in fridge.  Meanwhile, prepare the ganache.  Once the ganache is made, remove the cheesecake from the fridge and pour ganache on top of the caramel layer {as much as you would like}.  Garnish with roasted pecans.



Source: cheesecake adapted from Call Me Cupcake and Annie's Eats, salted caramel - my cupcakes, ganache adapted from Annie's Eats

16 comments:

  1. wow... cheesecake with caramel? This sounds soooo delicious... :)

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  2. haaa! love my linco bean. i'm pretty sad my leftovers are gone also...i seriously thought about this cheesecake in bed the other day and i was then excited to get up and go eat it...

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  3. It's too early to be committing this kind of sin, but I'm having cheesecake right now. I just couldn't help it after reading your post. Oh so delicious and decadent and...hehe i just loved it.

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  4. drool.
    i certainly hope you're bringing a dessert to gram's.

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  5. How smooth and silky! I like that you cut such a tiny slice :D

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  6. wow, Manda, that sounds soooo good! and it's beautiful, too! You're so talented!

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  7. Ha! He's just concerned about my hearing! Love that guy.

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  8. stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed this post!! THAT LOOKS AMAZING!!! i def wish i could grab a slice right off of the screen!!! LoL New Follower via email :-)

    http://infinitelifefitness.com
    http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

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  9. wow this looks amazing!
    silly question: do you remove the middle from the oreo cookies or does that get added in to the crumble for the crust?
    thanks for posting, i'm so excited to make this!

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    Replies
    1. Hi - not a silly question at all. I use the whole entire oreo, filling and all! Happy baking!

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    2. thank you! my boyfriend's birthday is this weekend and i'm going to make this for his party!!

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    3. Making this for Thanksgiving - both my best friend and my husband LOVE cheesecake and this one won the "which one do you think I should try to make' contest.I had the exact same question, so not silly at all! Now, I can make it without guessing or waiting for a reply. Thanks for asking.

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  10. I made this for our family's Thanksgiving dinner and it was HEAVENLY!!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. It was a hit!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you & your family enjoyed it!! We too had it at our Thanksgiving. :)

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  11. I love this recipe. I am making it again for New Year's Eve. I am going to use a pretzel crust instead of the Oreo this time. Thanks for the recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you like the recipe! A pretzel crust sounds so good!!

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