|Ah, nothing like a spastic spider web design, we hid my mistake, though...|
Monday, December 16, 2013
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Well, it seems that the cheesecake went over well at a lovely Christmas party we were lucky enough to attend. It was a great evening with a huge amount of delicious food, and plenty of wine to accompany. It was the first time I had made a salted caramel cheesecake, so I was experimenting a bit. I had posted a while back about cheesecakes and how I'm very particular, so when I bake a plain cheesecake I bake it low and slow, 235° for 4-4 1/2 hours. It comes out with a nice consistency, somewhere between a dryer New York style and a lighter fluffy cheesecake. It also does not brown or crack. Some people put a sour cream topping on their plain cheesecake which covers up any browning or cracking, and that's fine. I do not, so low and slow it is. When I make a 2-layer cheesecake, I use a water bath. It bakes faster and turns out great, but somehow it does not work as well for a plain cheesecake. I suppose I could bake the plain in 2 layers...but that's for a later experiment. For now, suffice it to say, that low and slow has served me well for many moons. For this cheesecake, I used my basic recipe (minus lemon juice) and added 1 C of my salted caramel (see an earlier post "Salted Caramel"). So here it is:
Preheat oven to 325°
2 C biscotti crumbs (or graham cracker for a more traditional method, I find the biscotti to make a nice firm crust)
6 T melted butter
2 lbs cream cheese (I like Philadelphia, some say they cannot tell the difference, maybe it's a placebo affect, but I believe I can tell the difference. Also, cream cheese needs to be at room temp).
1 1/2 C sugar
3/4 C sour cream (low fat will have a somewhat negative affect on the outcome)
1 T vanilla
1/2 t salt
1 C salted caramel
Mix crumbs and butter, place in 10" springform and pat down into place, use a flat bottomed object (I use a metal 4-Cup measure) to tamp crust down even tighter. Bake for 10-15 minutes, let cool. Turn oven down to 235°.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, and salt on low, stopping to scrape frequently. Add vanilla, sour cream, and caramel (you may need to warm it up a bit depending on how thick your caramel came out, if you do, make sure it's not too warm or it will affect the cream cheese, also add caramel before eggs in case it is too warm, so eggs don't cook). Once caramel is cool and incorporated add eggs, keep mixing on low, scraping bowl frequently. Scrape into pre-baked crust. Put 8x8 pan of water on bottom rack, then bake cheesecake for about 4 hours or until center is slightly puffed up.
For this cheesecake, once cooled, I then took about 1/3-1/2 c more of the salted caramel and added a thin layer to the top, and put in fridge to set before cutting. You can see in the pics that I had done the first one as a 2-layer, and also where I drizzled some caramel on top before baking (my mistake, as the caramel made it's way down into the cheesecake. Do what I say not what I do sort of thing?). So, my next one is done as I described above.