I baked! It was fantastic!!
It has been forever and a day since I have baked anything, other than the cakes I post, and the holiday cheesecakes which I will also post, soon!
I will give a brief explanation. For the last 14 months I have been off sugar…(quickly ducking and arms are up in fear of what will be virtually thrown at me, as well as avoiding those darting eyes). I know, I know…how can someone who bakes and eats as much sugar as I did, stop eating sugar? I’m not here to preach, recruit or pass judgment. It’s what is right for me right now. So, I have not been baking, just to bake. Let me tell you, I miss baking immensely!!
Anyway, back to why I am here. I was asked to make a Turtle Cheesecake. My Aunt’s Dad turned 80 and he LOVES my cheesecakes. Whenever he comes to holiday dinners, I get a big hug with the quick ‘Merry Christmas’ or happy Thanksgiving’ followed with a very serious…’what’s for dessert, what kind of cheesecake did you make??’ I admit, I don’t do a whole lot well, but dammit, I make an amazing cheesecake!! I have posted about Turtle Cheesecake years ago (check them out here and here), but I has been a while and well, it miss doing this!
**there are pictures missing for some of the steps, it’s been a while…I forgot to take a few. I think I was just so excited to bake, I got a little to wrapped up in it! Bare with me while I ease back into this**
1 1/4 cups Chocolate Cookie Crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar
1. Melt butter and add cookie crumbs and sugar. Combine well
2. Press mixture into the bottom of your cheesecake/spring form pan. I like mine to come up the sides a bit.
3. Bake at 350ºF for about 8 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool
I cheated a little here. Normally I would make my own caramel sauce. Unfortunately, things were a bit hectic and I was short on time.
Melt caramels with some heavy whipping cream over a double boiler (I did not count, I did not measure – told you I was out of practice!) Set aside to cool slightly
*this recipe is what I started with, but I don’t share my additions/Changes. A girl can’t give away all her secrets*
3 sticks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
Additions for this flavour
8oz semi sweet chocolate
6oz white chocolate
caramel – homemade or other
Before starting the batter, melt your chocolate slowly over a double boiler. Allow it to cool while preparing the rest. Warm chocolate and cold batter does not mix well. I learned this the hard way. (White chocolate not pictured)
1. Preheat oven to 350º F and Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.
4. Add heavy cream, vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. Do not over mix!
5. Divide your batter between the 2 melted and cooled chocolates. Put a little less in the white chocolate.
It will take a bit of stirring, and you will think it is never going to combine. Be patient, good things take time. Look at that, it is a thing of beauty! It will be the same with blending the white chocolate…again, no pictures
6. Pour the cooled caramel over your prepared cookie crust
7. Layer as many pecans as you like – It’s about now that I started drowning in my own saliva
Side note – I cook all my cheesecakes in a water bath. This is totally optional. I believe it makes for a better cheesecake, it bakes more evenly and much less risk of cracking. The only important thing to remember is to wrap your pan! Soggy cheesecake is not great. I wrap my pan with heavy-duty/wide foil (Dollar Store stuff is just fine). Make sure to bring it up the sides and have a bit of a lip. Don’t wrap it over the pan, it will condensate and drip in. This way it drips back into the water. Again, learned this the hard way.
8. Layer your batter, I started with white chocolate to contrast the cookie crust
Epic fail on the layering!! Not sure what happened…
So… Chocolate swirl it is!!
9. Place your foil lined pan in a larger roasting pan and add boiling water about half way up the side of your pan
10. Bake on the lowest rack for approx 1 hour 20 minutes (this time will vary depending on what kind of cheesecake you are making). I honestly do not bake according to time, it fails me ever time. I need to see and feel it.
Deciding when it is done can be tricky. You don’t want an over or under baked cheesecake. (My worst fear is that when someone buys a cheesecake, when they cut into it there will be a soupy inside, leaking all over their table!) You are looking for the cake to be still jiggle when you shake the pan, like Jello. At this point close the door, turn off the oven and leave it for an hour. It will continue to cook as it slowly cools. After at least an hour, remove from oven and water bath and let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge, to chill over night
The next day I decorated it up a bit. Topping it with more pecan, caramel and chocolate.
I was not at the party, so I did not get to see how the inside turned out, but there were rave reviews!
When they brought it out to him, he looked up and gasped ‘Erica’s?’ haha! It’s that kind of thing I miss about baking! Baked goods bring people together and make so many people happy!
Anyways, it was all gone and apparently was delicious!
Wrapping this up… That was a very rambley , unorganized post! I will do better next time. Hopefully there will not be years between the next one!!