I have no excuse for making this caramel toffee cheesecake for you. Other than the fact that it’s completely awesome and baking makes me happy. Also, you need to know these things for life. Cheesecake is important.
I’ve been making this caramel cheesecake for a couple of years now, and wouldn’t you know, when I finally had the chance to take it’s picture, it decided to crack like Hermione after 50 exams. There was a flux capacitor-shaped void in my cheesecake like I’d never seen. But you know I believe you have to work with what you got, and that you shouldn’t be wasteful, especially with something as precious as cheesecake. So what do we do? We fill that canyon with a river of caramel, that’s what.
Cheesecakes are notoriously finicky. You should have all your ingredients at room temperature before you start mixing, which I almost never remember to do. They should also be baked in a water bath, but I don’t own a roasting pan, so my pan doesn’t fit inside anything else. I put a cake pan full of water in the rack underneath, but I don’t know if it actually helps. They also need to cool very slowly. Alton Brown says to just leave it in the oven with the door ajar for a couple of hours. Maybe I’ll try that next time. Really, I’m so lazy, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened to me before.
That’s why I always have a topping in my back pocket to cover a cheesecake. This one was going to get a layer of caramel anyway, so it just got a bit extra. Normally I would have just put the toffee bits in a ring around the edge, but just throw in a bit of extra crunch to hide your flaws. It’ll be fine.
Life is never perfect. Accentuate the positive, put make up (or caramel sauce) on your flaws, and eat cheesecake. It will all be beautiful.
*I like to use the same caramel sauce as this pumpkin caramel cheesecake, but you can really use anything you love.
- 9 graham crackers
- 44 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
- 64 grams (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 46 grams (1.5 ounces) sour cream
- 46 grams (1.5 ounces) heavy cream
- 532 grams (18 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 26 grams (2 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 160 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- Approximately 1 cup of your favorite caramel sauce
- Approximately 1/2 cup toffee bits or 2 Heath bars, chopped
- Assemble your 9-inch springform pan and cover the bottom and outside with foil to make sure no water creeps in once the pan is in its water bath.
- Give your graham crackers a good smash in the package, then dump the whole sleeve into your food processor along with the sugar, and whiz to sandy bits.
- With the processor still running, slowly pour in the melted butter. Mix for a few seconds until combined.
- Dump your crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 325 and put a kettle of water on to boil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and heavy cream until relatively smooth. Set aside.
- Put your cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium low with an electric mixer for a few minutes until smooth.
- Add the butter and continue to mix on medium low until smooth and incorporated. Next add the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, beating until smooth after each. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Finally, blend in the cream mixture. Give the bowl a scrape, and turn your mixer on again for about 30 seconds to make sure everything is nice and smooth.
- Pour your cheesecake mixture over your crust. Place your foil-covered pan in a roasting pan. Carefully open your oven door, pull out the rack in the middle, and place the roasting pan on it. Pour the water from your recently boiled kettle into your roasting pan until it's about halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. Very carefully push the rack back in and close the door.
- Bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until the cheesecake is just slightly wobbly in the center.
- Remove the whole roasting pan from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool, still in the water, for about two hours. Keep your fingers crossed for no cracks.
- Put some plastic wrap right on the surface of your cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- After your cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, top it with your favorite caramel sauce. Use as much as you need to make it look pretty. Sprinkle on your crunchy bits. Use as much as you like.
- You can serve it immediately, but if you chill it again for another hour or two, your caramel won't be as runny.
- Serve your friends this cheesecake, cracks and all. I assure you, they will smile.