chocolate caramel cheesecake

As though I hadn't gotten enough baking in when I made two desserts for Rebecca's potluck, I decided to host a potluck of my own. What can I say? I like to hear people praise my cheesecake. So for this potluck, I made two more.

I know they say that it's women that love chocolate, but I've seen a grown man whimper like a child at the phrase "chocolate caramel cheesecake". Try it sometime. I stole this recipe from smitten kitchen , but I topped it with a glaze from a different recipe (actually, the recipe that follows this). I can't bear to leave a cheesecake naked. They all look so much tastier dressed in chocolate.

chocolate caramel cheesecake

The wonderful thing about cheesecake is that it looks labor-intensive, but really, you can throw one together in an hour. The hardest part is waiting the 6-9 hours it takes to chill. That is pure torment.

chocolate caramel cheesecake

I will warn you: making the caramel takes forever. Have patience. And a strong arm. Or a boyfriend to take over the stirring when you need a nap.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
Recipe from Epicurious.com

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 9 3/4 hr

1 crumb-crust recipe (recipe below)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make crumb crust as directed in separate recipe, using chocolate wafer cookies instead of graham crackers.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork, until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden. Remove from heat and carefully add heavy cream (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until smooth. Stir in sour cream.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 55 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.

Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on a rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Cooks’ note:
Cheesecake keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week. (As though you could just let it sit that long.)

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Crumb Crust
Recipe adapted from Gourmet, 1999

10 oz finely ground cookies such as teddy grahams
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

Makes enough for a 24-centimeter cheesecake.

caramel chocolate cheesecake

adapted from Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Squares

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 tsp light corn syrup

Cheesecake should be completely chilled before glazing.

Heat all ingredients in a double boiler or metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir until smooth, then pour over the cheesecake, tilting the pan until top is coated evenly. Chill, uncovered, at least 30 minutes.

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