Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Salted Caramel Cheesecake


Introducing Wednesday Friendsday! Every Wednesday I'll share a recipe that is a friend's favorite. Sometimes the recipe may be an incredible and slightly sinful (like today). Other times it might be one of those go-to recipes that isn't life changing, but it you eat it all the time and your family likes it. Maybe it is that recipe that you make for every family function because your great-great aunt always made it and Sunday wouldn't be Sunday without it. The stories we associate with food are just as important as the recipes themselves, so we want to hear about them! I'd love to feature one of your favorites recipes, too. You don't need to be a chef, or a blogger, or anything more than a person who eats food. If you are interested, email me or shoot me a text. I'd love to meet you and your recipe!

Today we're meeting my friend April. She's one of the most amazing people I know and I've known her for more than 10 years.  April authentic and genuine. I love that. She's friendly, talks to anyone, and she's so generous with her time an resources. Frankly, that is amazing for anyone, but especially because she's got 4 kiddos, including a set of twins. She's smart, talented, and great with numbers. She's the one who invited me to join the Freezer Cooking Club, which has been awesome. Always reading something new, always organizing or improving some aspect of her life, she's a busy woman.  Plus, April is a runner. Hard core. Multiple marathons, multiple half-marathons, and even an ultra-marathon, she's done it all.


This brings me to one of April's special talents. Cheesecake. Perhaps this is the reason she runs, or at least part of it. I know it is part of the reason I work out. Cheesecake. But this girl, she's won awards for her cheesecake three years in a row! Chocolate Oreo. White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut, and White Chocolate Strawberry. She helps us celebrate National Cheesecake Day by making a couple cheesecakes and inviting some friends over to eat them.  (It pays to be April's friend!) To me, making a cheesecake is a major affair, but she whips them together like she's making a taco. Easy peasy. She does use the water bath method, but she doesn't do the crack-the-oven-door-open-and-let-the-cheesecake-cool-in-the-oven. And it still turns out fine! I trust her methods completely. Seriously, one year she made this Peanut Butter Reeses cheesecake, and I get chills when she talks about that Samoas cookie cheesecake she made one time. April makes a cheesecake for her husband's birthday every year, and this year's creation was a Salted Caramel Cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust, dark chocolate ganache, and salted caramel drizzle. What!?! I was like, "I need that." Actually, lots of people were, and so for our last Freezer Cooking Club, we each made a cheesecake. Six cheesecakes. It was a beautiful mess.

So, this Salted Caramel cheesecake is that cheesecake. I made a milk chocolate syrup rather than the ganache, not on purpose, but whatever. I also made a simple caramel sauce with just brown sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. Super easy. We ate it, or part of it, on Super Bowl Sunday. (I'll show you a Super Bowl!)

This cheesecake is so creamy! It doesn't get flaky or crumbly. It is dangerously light, almost like a no-bake cheesecake, so you can eat a giant slice and not feel like you just swallowed a brick. It stays so soft thanks in part to the caramel in the cheesecake batter. That's right friends. We're not just talking caramel on the top. It is in the batter! The Oreo crust is magnificent, and the toppings put this dessert over the top.


Valentine's Day is coming up, and this Salted Caramel Cheesecake would be the perfect way to round out the evening. It is also the perfect cure for a crummy afternoon, so win/win.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Adapted from Tidy Mom
Ingredients:

For the crust:
  • 45 Oreos
  • 7 tbs butter, melted
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Filling:
  • 3 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup caramel-flavored coffee syrup, like Torani
Simple Caramel Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt (optional to make it salted caramel)
Milk Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1 cup milk chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Directions:
  1. Make Oreo crust. Grease 9-inch springform pan. Crush Oreos and combine with melted butter. Press into bottom of pan and up the sides. Cover the bottom outside of the pan with tin foil to protect crust while in water bath. 
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In stand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time until just blended. Add cream and 1/4 cup coffee-syrup. Beat until blended and pour into crust.
  3. Set cheesecake on a large baking sheet (jelly roll pan). Pour some water onto the cookie sheet, about half-way full. Bake cheesecake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cheesecake is set 2 inches from edge of pan, but still jiggles in the middle. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack to cool. FYI: This cheesecake stays pretty soft, even after chilling all night. 
  4. Refrigerate over night. Top with caramel and then chocolate ganache. Drizzle more caramel as desired.
Bake the bread. Share the slices.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, these photos are perfect! Loving all the black and whites.
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