This recipe is a modification for my white chocolate candy cane cheesecake, which is a modification of a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake recipe my mother-in-law used to make. The candy cane version will also be featured on Foodie Friends Friday Daily Dish tomorrow. I am honestly not sure which version I like best. Like, I said when I posted the other recipe, I am not sure of the origin of this recipe. My sister-in-law says she thinks my mother-in-law got it out of a magazine, but I have searched all the major sites and have not found it, so if you recognize this recipe, please let me know so that I can give credit for its origin. The cake itself is not a pretty recipe. It browns more than I like and falls a bit in the middle. But, it is the best cheesecake I have ever eaten. And, the slightly sunken center makes it perfect to hold toppings.
Speaking of origins, salted caramel originated in Brittany, France where it is made from their famed salted butter. If you want to read more about it, there is a great article here at Jamie’s Dinner Table. Recently, it has become quite trendy in the U.S. Most people make it with butter and then add sea salt or preferable fleur de sel. I actually used salted butter, but only because I was able to find excellent quality European style salted butter. Buy the best butter you can find for this. It really makes a difference. If you can’t find high quality European style, I would use unsalted and add the salt. Salt is frequently added to butter to mask the taste of impurities. You also want to store it away from anything that might flavor the butter. I have a separate refrigerator in the garage just for baking ingredients that I don’t want to taste like other food, but if you are not using the butter right away, I would leave it in the box and put the box inside another container until use.
The salted caramel sauce is a very slightly adapted version of this one from Brown Eyed Baker. I don’t have photos of the process because the lighting around my stove top is horrible, so I really recommend you reading her recipe. I just used salted butter and left out the fleur de sel, so it is basically the same. I also recommend you reading this David Lebovitz article on making caramel.
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup high quality European salted butter, at room temperature, cut in 1 Tbsp. sized pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 5 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 12 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- Have ¾ cup butter and heavy cream close by. Put sugar in a large saucepan. It will bubble up, pretty high, so this really needs to be a large saucepan.
- Cook sugar over medium high heat until it is melted and amber in color. You don’t need to stir it much at this phase because it will stick together and be more difficult to melt. Just before it is ready, it will begin to smoke a bit.
- Add butter, and stir until completely melted. (Sugar will bubble up at this point, so keep your distance.)
- Remove from heat and add cream. (The sugar will bubble up again here, so again, keep your distance.) Stir until all cream is incorporated. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate until use.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press them into a lightly greased 9 inch spring form pan. I lined mine with parchment and greased that too. Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool while you mix the cream cheese mixture.
- Beat the cream cheese at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually, add 1 cup sugar and continue mixing until well combined. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- Add melted white chocolate and mix until combined.
- Spread about ½ of the cream cheese batter into prepared crust. Spread about ½ cup salted caramel sauce over the batter leaving a ¾ inch boarder of cream cheese around the edges. Top with the remaining batter and save the remaining caramel to put on top.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until cheese cake is almost set and slightly browned.Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Run knife around edge of pan to release the cake before removing the sides of the pan.
- Just before serving, pour remaining salted caramel over the top of the cheesecake. This cheese cake tends to fall slightly in the middle, but the resulting edge makes it perfect for holding a topping.
Source: Caramel slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.