Cheesecakes have always been a curiosity to me. Though I was told that cheesecakes came from France, I never actually ate one there and I never saw one even in the most decadent patisserie or pastry store. In France, however, there are cakes much similar to cheesecakes called Bavarois. Unlike cheesecake, however, Bavarois are made with heavy cream, sour cream and gelatin and it is never baked. Much like cheesecake, though, they come in many flavors though most of the time they are flavored with fruit puree.
I cannot remember the first time that I ate a cheesescake, but from the minute I ate one, I have loved their texture, and the way they melt away in your mouth…
I just remember that i have wanted to learn to make them. And for the past 20 years i have tried repeatly to make them. Sometimes successfully, but most of the time unsuccessfully. They may taste great sometimes , but look awful or look okay and only taste average. You may wonder why I have kept trying but I like challenges!!! No, not really, I will not accept failure and will try and try again until I reach my goal;-)
Well, since nowadays i am lactose intolerant and my family is not much of a cheesecake fan, I don’t get to make them that often. In fact, it seems that they only time I venture to make them is when we have a large family reunion. This past Thanksgiving, i was in charge of desserts and since one of the guests was bringing a chocolate ginger cake, a silk pie and a pumpking pie, i was left with bringing something with fruit and something else. I really wanted to bring something that would be in tune with the warm flavor and color of Thanksgiving, something with warm flavors of fall. How about caramel??
After searching through various recipes book and sites, I finally settled for a recipe found on Epicurious called Toffe Crunch that I altered a bit.
Ingredients for a cheesecake for 10-12 persons:
For the crust:
- 1 package of the Belgium Ginger Snap cookies called Biscoff Cor about 7 1/4 ounces)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
- 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter, melted
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 10 heath candy broken in pieces.
First you will want to prepare the crust for the cheesecake. In a chopper, place the cookies, the soft butter and the sugar and pulse a few times to make a “powdery” mix. Empty this mixture into the bottom of the large round mold, and with your fingers press the cookie mixture flat. Cook in a warm oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.
While the crust is cooking, prepare the cheesecake. In a large bowl of a kitchen mixer, beat the sugar and the butter until it becomes creamy. Then add the cream cheese and beat well until the mixture is smooth. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each egg. Add 1 tbsp of vanilla extract and mix well. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the large mold on top the crust. Shake the mold a bit from side to side to even out the the cheesecake.
Place a grande mold on top a medium perforated and place the large round mold inside the grande mold. PLace the two into the oven. With a pouring cup, pour water into the grande mold to almost the top. This will be the water bath for the cheesecake. Cook the cheesecake for 40 minutes at 350. When the cheesecake has baked, let it rest for several hours ( 2 hours minimum and or overnight).
My cheesecake did not crack! and it did not sink in the middle. It was perfect. I never ever made a cheesecake that was that perfect before;-) I was so happy;-)
For caramel topping:
Put 1 cup of sugar into a large saucepan and cook the sugar over medium heat or until the sugar is dissolving. When the sugar is “becoming caramel” and is starting to bubble on the sides, start stirring the sugar to even out the caramel. Cook a little longer until all the sugar has become a light amber caramel. Be careful not to over cook. It will turn black in a minute if you do not watch. Remove the pan from the stove and let it cool for a minute or two. Meanwhile warm up the cream in the microwave for 2 minutes. Carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel while stirring virgorously. Be careful! It will bubble. Place the saucepan back onto the stove on medium temperature and continue stirring until the sugar has completly melted into the cream.
When the cheesecake has cooled, press the sides of the round mold down, and slide a plate under the cheesecake to remove the cake from the round mold. Then pour the caramel onto the cheesecake, and decorate the cake by sprinkling toffee crumble all around the cake top as shown below. Place back into the fridge to cool, and to let the caramel set.
Make sure to let the cake come to ambiant temperature before cutting and eating;-)
Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!