Posts tagged turtle cheesecake
Fact: I have the best boyfriend. Ever.
Doubt me? Bring it on. Come at me, bro. (Please don’t really, I would lose, badly—I have the physical prowess of an injured pygmy tarsier).
(Sorry for the absurdly long post. I got a little over-zealous with the camera.)
So, this awesome boyfriend of mine was recently nominated for and won a scholarship for outstanding work in anthropology. Wuh-Wuh.
I’m showing my pride in the best way I know how—cheesecake.
Specifically, a caramel cheesecake layered with candied pecans on top of a salty pretzel crust, and slathered with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache.
If I were pro, I’d top it with that supah fancy fleur de sel stuff. But I’m not, so this will have to cut it.
Oh and I finally mastered good caramel. When I’ve made it in the past it always turned out a little bitter. The ultimate trick? A little bit of water with the sugar. Picked that up from A Pastry Affair. I have no clue how the chemistry works but it seems to slow the cooking process so the sugar caramelizes more evenly and becomes a gorgeous amber without burning. Oh and butter. Lots of butter. But that goes without saying.
This cheesecake has a lot of parts to it. You could take shortcuts, but I guarantee it’ll be better if you don’t.
Is this cheesecake healthy? No. Is it vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free? No. Is it a “healthier” cheesecake and damn tasty? Yes.
Although I’m normally very anti-sugar, I don’t know of an alternative way to get to caramel. Plus, this is a once in a blue moon kind of thing. And aside from the caramel
and the graham crackers and the pretzels and the chocolate there’s no added sugar, just stevia and a touch of some good ‘ole maple syrup.
Saturday night, he was so frustrated with me because I ditched him all day for work and then when I got home, I headed straight to the kitchen to cook up this surprise cheesecake. “It’s for the blog” was not a good enough excuse for not watching a movie with him. The next morning, when he woke up I told him to come downstairs because I needed help with something. Surprise cheesecake breakfast date ensued.
- 1 1/2 cups pretzels (I used mini) (about 3/4 cup ground)
- 10 graham crackers (about 2/3 cup ground)
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- extra salt shaken from the bottom of the pretzel bag (you know what I’m talking about), to taste
- generous pinch of stevia
- In batches, blend the pretzels and graham crackers into crumbs
- Mix crumbs with butter, salt, and stevia.
- Press into 9” springform pan (up the ingredients for a larger pan)
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp stevia
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbs butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- Combined top 4 ingredients and then pour over pecans, mixing and coating well. Bake in a single layer in a 350 degree oven (or toaster oven) for 8 or so minutes.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbs water
- 3/4 cup butter, cut into cubes or slices
- 1/2 cup heavy (full) cream
- In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium-low heat. Swirl the mixture every now and then. It’ll become a clear liquid once the sugar all dissolves/melts and then slowly it’ll get some color and bubble up. Keep swirling.
- Once it’s a nice amber, turn the heat to low and add the butter in increments, swirling the pan to melt after each addition.
- Add the cream and swirl/stir until it’s a homogeneous mixture. (If the sugar is sort of hardening and not incorporating the butter and cream, turn the heat back up to medium until it does.) Remove from heat and transfer to a glass jar and let cool at least to room temp (preferably chilled in the fridge).
- 2 8 oz packages cream cheese (softened)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 the Candied Pecans
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tsp stevia
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and then add the eggs and stevia, beating until sort of fluffy. Fold in the sour cream, caramel, and 1/2 the pecans.
Ganache (make after the cheesecake is cooked and cooled)
- 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Melt the chocolate. Mix in the cream. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the remaining half of the pecans over the pretzel crust.
- Pour the filling over that.
- Bake for about 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven over a pan of water. Turn off the oven when you think it’s about done (knife will not come out clean and it will still jiggle a little in the middle, like some other things in life—but that’s okay) and let it sit until the oven’s cooled.
- Refrigerate for a few hours at least, preferably overnight so the flavors have time to
- Remove from springform pan. Top with warm ganache. Return to fridge so the ganache can harden a little. Eat
copious amounts with a loved one.
PS: Did I mention how amazing my bf is?