White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
You can either make your own caramel sauce, or buy premade from the shop — homemade is worth it, but take the time to ensure it does not burn. Served over the white chocolate cheesecake — a perfect dessert!
- CARAMEL SAUCE:
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 ounces graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Boiling water
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 300mins
Before I get into making the sauce, let me share that this is not the simplest way for most home cooks to go about making caramel sauce. Melting nearly pure sugar in a pan is pesky and it can burn quite easily. If you are not feeling up to attempting this part of the recipe, feel free to buy your favourite caramel sauce and warm it gently to glaze the cheesecake.
In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat (I’m using non-stick for this), combine the sugar and lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is usually melted then set aside the spoon and swirl the pan over the heat to keep the colour even throughout.
Continue to cook and swirl until the sugar turns a medium amber color. Watch it carefully, the sugar will quickly darken and should it become dark brown or black it will taste bitter and ugly.
When the sauce turns the right color slowly whisk in the cream. If the caramel hardens with the addition of the cream, don’t worry. Just continue to add the cream and bring the mixture back to a a boil over medium heat. Continue to stir until the sugar has remelted. Allow to boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat and stir in the butter.
Pour into a heat safe container and chill until ready to use.
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom and 1 1/2-inches up the side of a 10-inch spring form pan.
Bake for 10-minutes and then allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
Reduce the heat to 325°F and prepare the cheesecake batter.
Place the chopped white chocolate into a heat safe bowl and set aside. Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate, jiggle the bowl to submerge it and permit to stand for one minute. Stir the chocolate gently until melted fully.
In your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Add the sugar and blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
On medium speed, slowly add the white chocolate ganache. Once combined you can add the eggs, one by one, beating on low speed until each egg is incorporated. Once you have added all the eggs, mix in the vanilla and salt and pour into your prepared pan.
Set the pan onto a couple large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan to waterproof.
Set the cheesecake into a large roasting pan and then place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, filling to about one inch (no higher than the lowest edge of aluminum foil). Allow to make at 325°F for one hour then reduce heat and bake at 300°F for an extra 60 to 90 minutes until the center is just set.
Remove from the oven and permit to cool fully on a wire rack. Once cool chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
To glaze, gently warm the 1 cup of the caramel sauce on the stove or in the microwave until barely runny and then pour onto the cheesecake. Smooth the caramel over the cake and you are ready to serve.