sweet [baby] jesus! i cannot believe this is my last christmas post of the year. i thought i would make it one hell of a post & do a cheesecake! but not just any cheesecake, a salted caramel cheesecake. i find not a lot of home bakers seem to make cheesecakes from scratch (even other bloggers!). is it because of the amount of cream cheese involved or is the thought of making a cheesecake kinda scary? the burning, the sinking, the cracking, the horror! i pretty much only make cheesecake once a year & that is for my family's christmas. each year i create a new flavour of cheesecake for the family. from candy cane chocolate, to pumpkin, to apple blossom, to a classic new york strawberry, to this years salted caramel (i wish i could have blogged every single one i just named). SO.. if you are looking for a last minute holiday dessert that people will go crazy for, look no further! lastly, below are some tips to making the perfect cheesecake. & if it cracks a bit at the top, which there is always a high chance it will.. don't worry! the salted caramel will cover that up perfectly. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
- have all the ingredients room temperature. especially the cream cheese. this will prevent clumps of cream cheese in the batter.
- start the oven on high & once the cheesecake has puffed, immediately turn it down to low. it is important to test how accurate the oven temperature is, because a lot of ovens lie.
- don't remove the cheesecake once it is finished in the oven. turn the oven off & let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 15 minutes, before removing.
- lastly, bake it in a water bath to prevent cracks. this step is not necessary, as i mentioned above you can easily cover the cracks with caramel.
for the salted caramel
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
for the crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pinch of salt
for the filling
- 4 packages of full fat plain cream cheese (8 oz each)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
for the caramel: in a saucepot add the sugar and water. bring the pan to a boil while wiping down the crystals that form on the sides of the pan using a pastry brush (do not stir, i repeat, do NOT stir). continue to boil until the mixture turns to a deep amber colour, approximately 5 minutes. be sure not to burn the caramel! it will go from a deep amber to burnt sugar VERY quickly. remove from heat and immediately whisk in the butter, cream & salt. cool to room temperature before serving.
for the crust: in a mixing bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter & salt. stir until combined. using a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan, shape the crumb mixture into firm crust. be sure to go up at least two inches on the sides of the pan (makes removing the spring form pan easier).
for the filling: preheat oven to 475 degrees. in a mixer with the paddle attachment beat sugar, cream cheese & flour. add the eggs/egg yolks one at a time. scrape the bowl after every addition to ensure no clumps! once mixture is silky smooth add the vanilla. pour into the crust lined spring form pan. bake at 475 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the top puffs. if the top begins to brown too quickly, lower the temperature. once the top has puffed, lower the temperature to 225 degrees & bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the cake appears firm. turn off the oven & let the cake sit for 15 minutes. remove from oven & let cool to room temperature before refrigerating over night. top with salted caramel sauce right before serving.