I don’t know about you, but I will use any excuse to make and eat cheesecake. Is it a new year? Let’s celebrate! Did you make it to work on time, is it a Monday, is the sun shining? We can celebrate that, too! In honor of celebrating anything from the extraordinary to the mundane, I created this salted caramel cheesecake. This creamy and decadent cheesecake recipe is infused with salted caramel swirls and doused in a rich chocolate ganache. An extra thick graham cracker crust rounds out this creamy dreamy salted caramel cheesecake.
One of my favorite things about cheesecake is the graham cracker crust, so I created an extra thick crust for this cheesecake recipe. Make sure you press the crust up the sides of the pan. If the crust is too thick on the bottom of the pan, it won’t set quite as well when you bake it.
I promise that making homemade caramel is easier than you’d expect. I have included full instructions in the recipe below, but here are some helpful visual cues. When the boiling sugar reaches a light amber color (as shown in the above picture), watch the sugar closely because it will get really dark, really fast (if only tanning worked that way).
Stir in the butter at this point, when the sugar is a dark amber color. Then simply remove the pan from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and salt. And then…
Ta-dah! Homemade salted caramel. See, it wasn’t that difficult 🙂
For the chocolate ganache, I substituted a 1/4 cup of the heavy cream with an equal amount of this salted caramel mocha coffee creamer. This is one experiment that actually turned out quite well. The chocolate ganache was smooth and creamy with just a hint of salted caramel flavor.
I hope this cheesecake recipes adds an extra dose of sweetness to your next gathering!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter*
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (15 whole sheets)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature**
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Melt the sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. (The sugar and pan will become extremely hot, so make sure the pan is on a back burner that kids cannot reach.) You can gently swirl the pan to evenly distribute the sugar. Once the sugar reaches a boil, watch it closely. When the sugar develops a dark amber color, stir in the butter (the mixture will bubble up, so be careful). Once the butter has melted into the sugar, take the pan off the heat. Carefully add the heavy cream (the caramel will bubble profusely). Then stir in the sea salt.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers to create fine crumbs. Add the sugar and drizzle in the melted butter. Pulse to combine. Press the crust onto the bottom and up the sides of an 8.5-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the room temperature cream cheese at medium speed for 2 minutes, or until the cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps. Add the sugar and continue to beat at medium speed for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream, beat for an additional minute. Turn the mixer to a low speed and add the eggs one at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next egg. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and then add the vanilla. Pour the batter over the baked crust. Lightly tap the springform pan on the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter. Evenly drizzle the cooled caramel over the cheesecake batter. (As a precaution, I like to place a sheet of foil underneath the pan as it bakes, just in case any batter seeps through the seams in the pan). Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes, or until the outside of the cheesecake is set and the center is slightly loose. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature.
- Bring the heavy cream to a boil over medium heat (be careful not to scald it). Put the chocolate chips into a small bowl and then pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth. Pour the ganache over the cooled cheesecake. Once the ganache has cooled, place the cheesecake in the fridge. Enjoy!
- *If using salted butter, reduce the sea salt to 1 teaspoon. If using unsalted butter, use 2 teaspoons of sea salt.
- **Allowing the cream cheese to reach room temperature helps prevent lumps in the cheesecake batter.