Monday, March 12, 2012

Turtle Cheesecake

This cheesecake is NO joke! Seriously one of my new favorite desserts (I don't even like cheesecake), and couldn't have been easier. From the shortbread crust to the caramel oozing out the sides of each slice, I am in love! If you have some cheesecake laying around, give this a try! You won't be sorry you did, but you will be sorry if you don't!

Ingredients for the Crust
1 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
6 tablespoons cold butter, chopped

Ingredients for the Filling
4 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon flour, divided
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Ingredients for the Ganache
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons pecans, chopped
Pecan halves and caramel ice cream topping for garnish

Directions for the Crust
1. Place a greased 9-inch spring-form pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Securely wrap foil around pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Cut in the butter until crumbly.
3. Press onto the bottom of the pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

Directions for the Filling
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup flour, cream, and vanilla.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time.
3. Place 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl; stir in the melted and cooled chocolate until blended. Spread over the baked crust.
4. In another small bowl, combine caramel topping and remaining flour; stir in pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls over chocolate batter (I won't lie, I doubled this part haha but the ingredients is not doubled).
5. Top with remaining batter.
6. Place spring-form pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 75-90 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
7. Remove spring-form pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to looser; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight (I only refrigerated it for a few hours and it was perfect...who has all night?).

Directions for Ganache
1. Place chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chips; whisk until smooth.
2. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
3. Spread over cheesecake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set.
4. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with pecan halves and additional caramel topping if desired.

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