Wednesday, April 14, 2010

White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake



I'm back and I've brought cheesecake! I was really excited this morning to slice into this cheesecake and taste it. While my husband was getting ready for work, I was brushing my teeth, channeling Liz Lemon, doing my 'I'm gonna' eat cheesecake for breakfast' song and dance routine.

Why he stays married to me I do not know.

So, I was given this recipe from a friend who insisted that I would love it. A recipe for white chocolate caramel cheesecake. She was right about me loving it, I've been itching to make it. How can one not love a cheesecake brazen enough to incorporate nearly a pound of white chocolate ganache into the batter and then slather the whole pie in caramel sauce?!



She was right, I love it. So delicious with a near perfect texture. Woooo!

Yea, I'm riding a serious cheesecake breakfast induced sugar high at the moment.

Feeling good. Let's get down to it...




White Chocolate Cheesecake with Caramel Glaze
adapted from Ray's Boathouse: Seafood Secrets of the Pacific Northwest

Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pint heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Before I get into making the sauce, let me note that this isn't the easiest way for most home cooks to go about making caramel sauce. Melting almost pure sugar in a pan is pesky and it can burn quite easily. If you're not feeling up to attempting this part of the recipe, feel free to buy your favorite caramel sauce and warm it gently to glaze the cheesecake.

In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat (I'm using non-stick for this), combine the sugar and lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly melted then set aside the spoon and swirl the pan over the heat to keep the color even throughout.

Continue to cook and swirl until it sugar turns a medium amber color. Watch it carefully, the sugar will quickly darken and should it become dark brown or black it will taste bitter and unpleasant.

When the sauce turns the right color slowly whisk in the cream. If the caramel hardens with the addition of the cream, do not worry. Just continue to add the cream and bring the mixture back to a a boil over medium heat. Continue to stir until the sugar has remelted. Allow to boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat and stir in the butter.

Pour into a heat safe container and chill until ready to use.




Crust
10 ounces graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cheesecake Filling
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

boiling water

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the side of a 10 inch spring form pan.

Bake for 10 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Reduce the heat to 325°F and prepare the cheesecake batter.

Place the chopped white chocolate into a heat safe bowl and set aside. Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate, jiggle the bowl to submerge it and allow to stand for one minute. Stir the chocolate gently until melted completely.

In your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Add the sugar and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

On medium speed, slowly add the white chocolate ganache. Once combined you can add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until each egg is incorporated. Once you've added all the eggs, mix in the vanilla and salt and pour into your prepared pan.

Set the pan onto a couple large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan to waterproof.

Set the cheesecake into a large roasting pan and then place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, filling to about one inch (no higher than the lowest edge of aluminum foil). Allow to make at 325°F for one hour then reduce heat and bake at 300°F for an additional 60-90 minutes until the center is just set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

To glaze, gently warm the 1 cup of the caramel sauce on the stove or in the microwave until slightly runny and then pour onto the cheesecake. Smooth the caramel over the cake and you're ready to serve.

Enjoy.

40 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. That cheesecake looks amazing...and decadent...and...well I think I'm just speechless. Bookmarking now!

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  2. Yummmm!!! Caramel and I are not friends, but perhaps I'll have to extend an olive branch . . .

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  3. I should note that the cheesecake can stand alone without the glaze if you're not a fan of caramel.

    The white chocolate cheesecake would also be divine with any number of other toppings.

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  4. That looks superb...White chocolate and caramel are always a winning combination in my book

    I really wish I had the moxy to make my own cheesecake for your contest. I'm a serious chicken. :/

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  5. I'm sorry if this is a foolish question, but why couldn't you add 1/2 a cup of water to the sugar to help melt it, like in the praline recipe?

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  6. Of course. That is an easier way to make caramel, dissolving the sugar in water and allowing the moisture to evaporate away.

    However, as the recipe called for this method and I followed like a dutiful baker. I've also done it before when making caramel crunch for chocolates or caramel ganaches, so I wasn't too concerned about melting near pure sugar. However years ago when I first tried the method, I scorched it, hence the warning.

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  7. Don't you just love white chocolate!! Cheescake and white chocolate it's too good to be true!!! :)

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  8. Delicious! This looks like heaven! I love white chocolate and caramel together!

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  9. You are my saviour yet again, I have to make two cheesecakes and have been tearing my hair out to get a white chocolate recipe. This is PERFECT.

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  10. What a lovely, lovely cheesecake! The caramel sauce looks absolutely perfect. I love that this cheesecake doesn't call for a Tbsp of flour or sour cream. I always judge my cheesecake recipes based on those two criteria haha. I'm bookmarking this recipe.

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  11. Oh sweet momma that looks soooo good!!!! Definitely gonna save this recipe! Thank you (and your friend) for sharing it!!!

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  12. Is there any significant difference between melting pure sugar and dissolving the sugar with a little water? Now I'm curious!

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  13. I've done that dance before. Usually with cake though, and probably more often than I should! Haha. My future husband is going to have to put up with a hell of a lot of crazy to stick with me :P

    Anyway, this looks so AMAZING. Yum!!! I like the waves you put on the caramel topping. I think my grandma might need this...

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  14. I don't think so.

    I believe the only difference is time. It takes a bit longer for sugar syrups to concentrate before it will begin to caramelize.

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  15. Hi,
    Your blog is simply fantastic!
    Compliments !!!
    Aniko

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  16. Your post reminds me of a Bill Cosby routine, about giving his children chocolate cake for breakfast. It has eggs! Eggs are good for you! Milk! Flour! It's all healthy!

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  17. Hi Ms Humble,

    was wondering if you know of a biscuit substitute you could use if you're not in the States? I have no idea what Graham crackers are....

    kudos for the cheesecake breakfast, it looks WONDERFUL. and provides me with inspiration for your pie contest ; )

    Cheers,
    Laurin

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  18. Do you have access to digestive biscuits? They're similar and can often be substituted for graham crackers.

    You can also make your own graham crackers, if you're feeling ambitious.

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  19. i am excited about baking this!!

    since the cheesecake filling does not call for flour... is the finished product more likely to have surface cracks?

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  20. Linda,

    The cake doesn't appear prone to cracking (from what I can tell after one attempt). It emerged from the oven perfect and didn't show any indication that it might develop a surface crack.

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  21. I make caramel without using water or other liquids because of the crystallization factor. You can keep stirring the sugar the entire time if there is no added liquid without fear of causing undesired crystallization that way. It doesn't need any liquid to melt, and to me, this method is easier because you don't have to worry about swirling/stirring/messing up your caramel.

    http://www.culinate.com/columns/bacon/caramel is what convinced me to try dry caramel after killing wet caramel more times than I can count.

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  22. This is my first time on your blog and I really wish I hadn't seen this cheesecake. How am I supposed to get it out of my mind? :o) It's absolutely gorgeous. I love white choc and caramel. Thanks for sharing the recipe!! Will follow you on Twitter right away!

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  23. Your cheesecake is FABULOUS! I'm drooling!

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  24. Wow, that looks so good! You're amazing!

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  25. I made this cheesecake last night but haven't unmolded it yet. I don't think I will make the caramel part because nobody in my family cares for caramel. Caramel happens to be one of my favorite foods EVER so that's too bad. We will probably just use a berry sauce or a dark chocolate sauce. I will post the results on my blog if things turn out ok...or even if they don't. The one change I made was to add a fresh vanilla bean to the batter. More vanilla always makes things better, I think! Thanks for the recipe. I can't wait to eat it. And the fact that it's a Ray's Boathouse recipe makes it all the more exciting! Love that place!

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  26. Hi :)

    I am prepping to be a stay at home science mom and I adore your blog!! I have finished your cheesecake yesterday and my hubby fell in love with it! He said it was the most amazing cheesecake he has ever eaten - which for me a beginner cook is a hell of a praise :D Thanks for this amazing recipe - I'll be more courageous from now on :D

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  27. you've inspired me! i love anything and everything caramel

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  28. Ms. Humble,
    Gorgeous cheesecake. Fantastic blog. I particularly love your sometimes strange baking styles! Thanks for sharing. :)

    xo Patty
    (Baking is Hot)

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  29. It looks amazing!!!! I was googling for a nice caramel cheesecake for my husband's birthday and I have stopped searching! Thanks for sharing! Great blog!
    Marta (Pulgarcita)
    http://www.horneandoaciegas.blogspot.com

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  30. Great recipe, however I found it to be a BIT too sweet. Next time, I'll try reducing the sugar by half.

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  31. I've been saving this recipe for some time and finally had a chance to make it the other night... perfect, just perfect. It was incredibly smooth and not too sweet, and it received rave reviews from everyone in the family. :)

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  32. This one is in the oven right now! I made a lot of your cheesecake recepies. But one question, why do you have to put them in a waterbath? is it not possible to surround the cake with some cups of hot water?

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  33. There are a few reasons for putting water in your oven. One is obvious, to up the humidity. It does magical things with food, like bread, giving you that golden crackling crust. This just requires water in the oven. Spray bottle, wet lava rocks, pans, cups of water. Whatever works for you.

    Why put your food IN the water? Well that's reason number 2: insulation. See, the water in your pan can't get any hotter than 212 degrees (At typical air pressure and ignoring superheating, nerds) and this keeps the heat gentle on our custard, preventing curdy, overbaked, cracked cheesecake. Now, not all cheesecakes are so delicate that they require a water bath to turn out well. Recipes that use a little starch give you more wiggle room with baking, for example. Still, the whole cake-in-water-bath setup tends to be worth the bother, as the texture of your cheesecake will be much better.

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  34. thank you, and this time I did it without using tinfoil, but just putting in some cups of hot water, and everything you wrote above is true. flavour was perfect, but texture and coloring, cracking etc so next time, it's a waterbath again! now i now why.

    Love making your cheesecake recepies! thnxs for posting

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  35. Thank you for the recipe. I made the first Cheesecae of my life with your help and it was the best from all i have tasted before. Served with blueberry sauce. My blog is hungarian, but anyway you may see it here: http://izmorzsak.blogspot.com/2011/11/fehercsokolades-sajttorta-az-elso-de.html#more

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  36. Hi Ms Humble,

    I tried you cheesecake recipe and everyone LOVED it! In France we are not so good at making cheesecakes but this one is just delicious! So good that, as a professional translator, I decided to translate the recipe in order to allow my French friends to enjoy it too :)

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  37. I am outside the USA too, what is "heavy cream"?

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  38. Generally cream with 35%+ fat. On the blog I use cream that contains a minimum of 40%, but in this recipe a ultra heavy cream isn't necessary. Whatever style/type cream you use for whipping cream in your home country will work fine in this recipe.

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