I've always been intimidated by cheesecake. I have heard horror stories of "cracks down the middle"..."sunk-in tops"..."uncooked middles"...etc. I was so scared of even attempting to make cheesecake because I was worried it would turn out to be one of my many epic fails. But finally, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it...
I'm so happy to say...it was a success! The cheesecake turned out perfectly. No cracks...no sinkage...just pure deliciousness. I should have taken a picture of it before I poured loads of caramel and chocolate all over it...but I was so excited to eat it that I didn't take the time to snap proof!
You'll just have to believe me.
Let me also preface this recipe by saying....I had to read these directions about 50 times before I started the cheesecake. Partly because I had to convert the ingredient amounts from Metric to English measurements...and partly because it is a bit long and complicated. I definitely recommend making the cheesecake the day before because that helps simplify things if you are making this for a special event. It really is not that hard to make but there are just quite a few steps for all the pieces that come together to make this wonderful creation. If you are intimidated by this recipe...please don't be. It is worth it. If I can do it, you can do it. (and I recommend that you do!)
Oreos - 10 1/2 ounces
3.5 ounces for butter
21 ounces Cream Cheese
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
¼ cup sugar
4-5 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
4 ounces dark chocolate
Crust & Cheesecake:
Grease a springform pan (mine was 10-inch but you can use smaller, the cheesecake will be taller then). Combine Oreo crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover the outside bottom and halfway up the sides of the springform with aluminum foil. Put in the fridge and prepare the cheesecake.
Preheat oven to 320F. Prepare a water bath by boiling water in a saucepan. In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat together until fully mixed. Melt the chocolate and cool. Mix chocolate with about 1/3 of the cheesecake batter. First spoon the chocolate batter into the prepared pan, then add the rest of the batter. Put the springform in a larger pan (such as a rimmed cookie sheet or large roasting pan) which you put in the oven, then pour hot water around the cheesecake. The water should reach halfway up the sides (if it doesn’t quite reach halfway that’s okay). Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set (it should move just slightly). Let cool completely, then put the whole springform, covered, in the fridge overnight or about 6-8 hours.
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup natural raw sugar
1 ounce butter, softened
Carefully heat the sugar in a saucepan without stirring. Once the sugar starts melting and becomes a n amber brown color, swirl a few times. Remove from heat and swirl until the sugar has melted. Heat the cream in another saucepan. Add the diced butter to the sugar. Once the butter is added, keep stirring until it comes together.
Put the saucepan back on the heat. Add the cream, a little at a time. Be very careful, it will spit and spatter like crazy! Let the caramel boil for a few minutes and then remove the pan from the heat. Let cool and then pour into a clean jar. The caramel will harden if the fridge so don’t worry if it is runny. If the caramel becomes too hard then you can let it sit out at room temperature before pouring on the cheesecake.
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
4 ounces dark chocolate
½ cup heavy cream
Finely chop the choco
late and place it in a bowl. Carefully heat the cream in a saucepan until it is very hot, but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 30 seconds. Carefully stir until ganache is shiny and smooth. Let cool.
Heat oven to 350F. Spread the pecans (1/2-1 cup whole pecans) on a baking sheet for 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Let cool.
Remove cheesecake from fridge. Place it on a plate or a cake stand. Remove the sides of the springform. Pour caramel on top of the cake (as much as you like). Put back in the fridge. Meanwhile, prepare the ganache. Once the ganache has cooled, remove the cake from the fridge and pour ganache on top of the caramel layer. Garnish with roasted pecans.
Recipe adapted from Call me cupcake!