Sunday, December 8, 2013

Layered Turtle Cheesecake

Thanksgiving is a time of eating lots of vegetables and fruit with dinner.  Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, asparagus, cranberry sauce, vegetable trays, so on and so on.  Well, after getting enough fruit and vegetables during the pre-dinner, and dinner itself, you must be bonkers if you think I'm going to eat any more of that with dessert.  Give me something fattening without a trace of anything healthy.  With that being said, say hello to the layered turtle cheesecake.  "Hello, cheesecake!" This was the second time I've made this cheesecake, and it never disappoints.  My brother is quite the dessert-loving guy, and he said that it was the best cheesecake he's ever eaten, and that is quite the complement coming from him!  I took a slice over to my friend Mindi since she's loves cheesecake almost more than her own children. She put it in a Tupperware container, kept it in a small fridge in her bedroom, and stretched out the life expectancy of that single piece of cheesecake for days as opposed to the minutes that it would last in front of me- hence the thighs.  This cheesecake takes some work, but it is well worth the time and effort.  If you're terrified about the idea of making a cheesecake, buy the ingredients, bring them to me, and I will make it for you.  Yep, it's that good, and I would do that for you.
Layered Turtle Cheesecake Recipe

Layered Turtle Cheesecake

1 c flour
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c finely chopped pecans
6 tablespoons cold butter

4 packages (8 oz each) of cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar1/4 c plus 1 t flour, divided
2 T heavy cream
1 1/2 t vanilla
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 c caramel ice cream topping
1/3 c chopped pecans

1/2 c milk chocolate chips
1/4 c heavy cream
2 T chopped pecans
additional caramel topping

Preheat the oven to 325.

Place a 9-inch springform pan on two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.  Wrap tightly around the pan. 

In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.  Press into the bottom of the springform pan.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove and cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugars on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in 1/4 c flour, cream, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low, add in the eggs and beat just until blended.  

Remove 1 cup of the batter and place it in a bowl.  Add the 1/2 c melted chocolate chips. Stir to incorporate.  Spread this onto the cooked crust.

In another bowl, combine the 1/4 c caramel topping and 1 teaspoon of flour.  Stir in the 1/3 c chopped pecans.  Drop all of this mixture by spoonfuls onto the chocolate cheesecake layer. 

Pour the remaining cheesecake batter on top.  

Place the foil-wrapped springform pan into a large roasting pan.  Add enough hot water to come up an inch on the springform pan.

Carefully move into the oven and bake for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours.  (Mine took the full 1 1/2 hours) The center will be set and the top will look dull.  I also stuck a knife in the middle to make sure that it came out clean.  Remove the pan from the water bath.  Let it cool for 15 minutes on a rack.  Slide a knife around the edge of the cheesecake.  Cool for one hour longer than refrigerate overnight.  

For the ganache, place the 1/2 c chocolate chips in a small bowl.  Bring the cream just to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Once bubbles start to form, take off of the heat and pour over the chocolate chips.  Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth.  Cool slightly.

Remove the sides of the springform pan.  Pour the chocolate ganache over the top.  Garnish with the remaining pecans.  

Drizzle each individual piece with caramel sauce before serving.

*I wish that awesome picture was one that I took, but it's from the Taste of Home website.  We devoured it far too quickly to get a decent picture.  :) 

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