By Natalie Anne (recipe adapted from Yammie’s Noshery)
I’m always so nervous to make cheesecake because I feel like its never going to be as rich and creamy as I hope for. But this recipe blew me away. It was a bit of a process all together, but so incredibly worth it. I was home visiting my parents for Thanksgiving and I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin pie, so I decided to try something a little more non-traditional plus this recipe made my mouth water and I couldn’t wait to try it.
First I prepared the graham cracker crust:
3 cups of graham cracker crumbs (about 2 packages of crushed graham crackers)
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter (1 cup), melted
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I strayed from the recipe and used dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate and I wholeheartedly recommend it)
Preheat the oven to 300º. Combine everything (except the chocolate chips) and press into a springform pan lined with parchment paper. Push all the way up the sides and press in firmly. Spread the chocolate chips over the pressed mixture. Set the springform pan on a baking sheet (just in case it drips). Bake for about five minutes or until the chocolate chips are melty. Smooth them out with an offset spatula. Throw it in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Next I made the Homemade Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and syrup. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Once it is caramel colored, add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Add the cream and stir until it’s all combined. Bring it back to the heat if you get clumps and stir it until they’re dissolved. Store in the refrigerator if not using right away. Makes about 3/4 cup.
*Now this was my first time making homemade caramel and I was entirely convinced I was doing the entire wrong, until I started to see the caramel color slowly come out of the sugar and syrup. I was so excited, and it tasted so heavenly. It wasn’t too thick to work with and remained light and creamy.I definitely recommend making this caramel sauce instead of using a sticky store bought one.
3 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup caramel topping (recipe below)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla and caramel and beat well. Add the eggs and beat just until combined. Pour into chilled crust. Wrap the springform pan with a couple of wet dishtowels (this helps the cheesecake to cook more slowly and evenly). Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. The center will still be jiggly, but never fear, it shall set in the end. Turn the oven off and open the door about 4 inches, but leave the cheesecake in for about 30 more minutes (this helps the cheesecake to cool more slowly and evenly and prevents cracking). Remove from the oven and cool for about 30 more minutes. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Finally the Whipped Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup caramel (from your homemade wonder)
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits
Beat the whipping cream and sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form.
Spread the caramel slowly across the cheesecake. Sprinkle the toffee bits evenly over top. Dollop the whipped cream along the edges of the cake and garnish with more toffee bits.
And there you have it, the most scrumptious cheesecake you will ever indulge in!