Thursday, December 8, 2016

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

I love cheesecake of all kinds.  I like a plain New York style cheesecake, unadorned and magnificent in its sweet, cheesy simplicity.  I love a chocolate cheesecake.  Pairing the smooth texture of cheesecake with a deep chocolate flavoring is like heaven on earth.  Add a chocolate ganache icing and happiness abounds.  And then there's pumpkin cheesecake... Yes, I could go on and on, but truth-be-told, this Salted Caramel Cheesecake is my favorite of them all.

The Best Ever Salted Caramel Cheesecake

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Salted Caramel Cheesecake on a Plate
Salted Caramel Cheesecake

I've been making this cheesecake for our family Christmas dinner for several years.  Oh, how everyone loves this cheesecake!  Its texture is smooth and creamy.  The caramel flavored cheesecake sits on a shortbread-like crust, enhanced with finely chopped pecans.   When served with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and a dollop of whipped cream it is a dessert that delights.  If you love cheesecake, caramel and pecans this is the cheesecake for you. 

You can make this cheesecake ahead of time and freeze it.  I love that.  Just wrap it well in plastic wrap and then place the wrapped cheesecake in a large zipper-lock freezer bag.  This is one of the reasons I need multiple springform pans for holiday baking.

The salted caramel flavor in this cheesecake comes from a jarred salted caramel sauce.  You can use any caramel sauce you like if salted caramel sauce is not available.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Recipe

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Printer Friendly Recipe
A Slice of Salted Caramel Cheesecake
A Slice of Salted Caramel Cheesecake

The Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely ground pecans
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

The Filling
  • 3  8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 /4 teaspoon salt
  • 4  extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce, (Use salted caramel sauce if you can find it.)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" springform pan. 
Mix the crust ingredients together until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 1" up the sides of the prepared pan; prick with a fork.    Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, until a light golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. 

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Crust
Bake the Crust Until Golden
Mix the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt at low speed until smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.   Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. 

Stir in the salted caramel sauce and cream. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300°F and bake 15 minutes more, until the edges of the cake are set, and an instant-read thermometer inserted 2" from the edge reads 170°F.

Turn off the oven, crack the door, and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour.  I used a wooden spoon to prop open my oven door.

Cool the cheesecake slowly
A Wooden Spoon Props Open The Oven Door
Remove the cake from the oven, and cool it at room temperature for one hour. If you are very lucky your cheesecake won't crack in the middle.  Don't worry if it does crack a bit.  The crack can be covered with the caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Cracks Happen
Cracks Happen
Refrigerate the cheesecake for eight hours (or overnight) before serving.  You can make this cheesecake ahead of time and freeze it successfully.  Just be sure to allow it sufficient time to thaw in your refrigerator before serving.  Serve with additional caramel sauce and sweetened whipped cream.

Do you want a different yummy dessert?  Here are some other dessert links to check out.
The Best Brownie Winner
Mixed Berry Trifle
Lemon Yogurt Cake

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