Monday, May 7, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake



Alright friends, this dessert, oohhh this dessert. It is everything it promises to be and so much more.  This is the first time I have perfectly (in my opinion) cooked a cheesecake that had no cracks AND I successfully made caramel from scratch! What a day!


The recipe I used was originally for a cheesecake more along the lines of a Turtle Cheesecake, but since we had some company with some extreme nut allergies we decided to forgo the pecans in favour of more caramel and more chocolate ganache. A pretty favourable exchange if you ask me!





This recipe isn't in the standard 'cups and teaspoons' measurements as I found it on a gorgeous blog called Call Me Cupcake and her measurements are mostly in weight since I believe she is in Sweden. To be honest the more recipes I work with that deal with weight instead of 'cups' the more I like this method. It seems much more consistent and the recipes are much easier to adapt if you want to make more or less of the original amount. 




This does take a bit of work, but the caramel and chocolate ganache can be made while the cheesecake is cooling in the refrigerator, or you can use chocolate and caramel ice cream toppings instead. Both methods would still produce an insanely decadent dessert.




The original recipe is from Call Me Cupcake, and the only thing I did differently was to make it without the toasted pecans.  I baked my cheesecake in an 8" springform pan and it took about 1 hour and 30 minutes total.  Be sure to adjust the cooking time based on the size of your pan.




And I may have had two pieces for breakfast (shhhhh).


Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

  • To make the cheesecake:
    • 300 g Oreo crumbs
    • 100 g butter, melted
    • 600 g cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (about 380 g)
    • 50 mL sugar
    • 4 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 larg eggs
    • 100 g dark or bittersweet chocolate
  • To make the caramel:
    • 250 mL heavy cream
    • 200 mL sugar
    • 30 g butter, room temperature and diced
  • To make the chocolate ganache:
    • 100 g dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    • 100 mL heavy cream
To make the cheesecake:
  1. Grease a springform pan (7 - 9") and preheat your oven to 320 F
  2. In a small bowl mix together the Oreo crumbs and the melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and onto the sides of the springform pan
  3. Cover the bottom and the sides of the pan with aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator
  4. Boil water in a saucepan or electric kettle and set aside for the water bath
  5. In a double broiler or an microwave-safe small bowl melt the chocolate until smooth and set aside to let it cool
  6. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until completely smooth
  7. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and again beat until smooth
  8. Remove 1/3 of the cheesecake batter and mix it with the cooled melted chocolate
  9. Pour the chocolate cheesecake batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula
  10. Add the remaining cheesecake batter and again smooth the top of the batter
  11. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan (I used an aluminum one that I grabbed from the grocery store and it worked fantastic) and pour in the hot water until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the pan
  12. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour 15 min to 1 hour 30 min (or until the cheesecake is set AKA it should move only slightly when lightly wiggled)
  13. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath and let it cool completely
  14. After the cheesecake has come to room temperature, place it in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight to set

To prepare the caramel:
  1. Place the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Carefully heat the sugar without stirring at all
  3. Once the sugar begins to melt and becomes an amber brown colour give it a couple gentle swirls
  4. When most of the sugar has melted, remove the pan from the heat and gently swirl until all of the sugar has melted
  5. In a second small saucepan heat the cream and then set aside
  6. Add the diced butter to the melted sugar very carefully!
  7. Once all of the butter is added stir the caramel until it is fully mixed and the caramel has come together
  8. Place the pan back onto the heat, and carefully add the hot cream a little at a time while stirring. It will spit and sizzle!!! so be careful!
  9. When all of the hot cream has been added, let the caramel boil for a couple minutes and then remove it from the heat
  10. Let the caramel come to room temperature and then place it in some clean jars and store in the refrigerator
  11. As the caramel cools it will continue to thicken, mine was so thick I had to warm it up to pour onto the cheesecake!
To make the chocolate ganache:
  1. Place the finely chopped chocolate in a medium bowl
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it is very hot, but be sure not to boil the heavy cream
  3. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for about 30 - 45 seconds
  4. Carefully stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth
  5. Let the chocolate cool completely, and then place it in the refrigerator and it will continue to thicken
To complete your dessert:
  1. Place the cheesecake on a plate or cake-stand and remove the sides of the springform pan
  2. Pour the caramel all over the cheesecake, using as much as you like
  3. Top the caramel with the chocolate ganache, again using as much as you like
  4. Allow the ganache to set for a couple of minutes on the cool cheesecake
  5. Slice and serve to excited guests
  6. Enjoy!

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