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Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

monstersmom10's picture

So, I finally got around to making the cheesecake with the caramel I posted about a while back (Caramel from scratch? http://forums.taunton.com/tp-cookstalk/messages?msg=27359.1).


The original recipe is from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, and is great on its own.  The homemade caramel made it out of this world.  I used the recipe from http://forums.taunton.com/tp-cookstalk/messages?msg=10229.3 for the caramel, but I'll repost the whole thing.


Caramel:


1 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp corn syrup


Combine in saucepan, cook over medium heat until it begins to caramelize, allow it to caramelize to desired depth (I used medium-brown).  Add 1 cup heavy cream, stir until all dissolved.  Cook until it reaches just about hardball stage.  Pour into crust.  Top with 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans, if desired (I left this out, as there are many nut allergies in my family :( ).  Cool for about 45 min - 1 hour before adding filling.


Crust (make while sugar mixture is cooking):


2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 50 Nilla wafers), 6 Tbsp melted butter


Preheat oven to 350F. Combine crushed wafers and melted butter.  Press onto the bottom and about 1 1/2 - 2 inches up the side of a 9" springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.


Filling:


2 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened


1/2 cup sugar


1 tsp vanilla


2 eggs


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, melted and slightly cooled


Combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla; beat with an electric mexer on med speed until combined.  Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined (do not overbeat).  Stir in melted chocolate.  Pour over cooled caramel layer in pan.


Bake at 350F about 40 minutes or until a 2 1/2 inch area arount the outside edge appears set when gently shaken.  Cool in pan on a wire rack (stove top spiders work great too!) for 15 minutes.  Loosen from side of pan; cool completely on wire rack.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.


To serve:


Let stand at room temp for 20 minutes.  If desired, garnish with melted chocolate, caramel topping, whipped cream, additional nuts, chocolate curls, or anything else you can dream up!


Note:  The original recipe uses 48 Nips melted in 5 oz of evaporated milk for the caramel.  Also good.