Friday, February 24, 2012

Turtle Cheesecake

Oh hi there! I have to apologize, once again, for my absence in this space. We’ve been dealing with some more sickness in my house, this time of the type that is not appropriate to speak of on a food blog. Needless to say, food has been the last thing on my mind as of late.

But let’s talk about more pleasant things, shall we? Let’s talk about cheesecake. Cheesecake is one of the most decadent, delicious, indulgent desserts I can think of, and in my opinion, the richer it is, the better it is. If you’re going to indulge in some cheesecake, you might as well make it the most luxurious piece of cheesecake possible, right?

I made this turtle cheesecake for a recent family gathering*, and it was a massive hit. Everyone absolutely loved it, and rightfully so. Turtles by themselves are already so rich, but when you add caramel, chocolate, and pecans to cheesecake? Well, the result is unimaginably delicious. There is absolutely no way to go wrong with that combination.

You know what I might try when I make this again? A pretzel crust, instead of a vanilla wafer one. How good would that be?!

Turtle Cheesecake
adapted from Allrecipes

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
14 ounces individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter one 9-inch springform pan.

2. Toast the pecans for 6 minutes. Remove pecans and set aside.

3. Combine vanilla wafer crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Place the pan onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

4. In a double boiler, or a bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the caramels in the evaporated milk. Stir until smooth. Pour half of the caramel over the cooled crust. Sprinkle half of the nuts over the top, then 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.

5. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl several times. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until smooth. Gently stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour the batter over the caramel layer.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until barely set. Let cool at room temperature.

7. When cheesecake is cooled, spread remaining caramel over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining pecans. Melt the final 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Chill until serving.

*Christmas. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to share this with you.


Natalie said...

oh wow---this sounds amazing!! and I love the idea of a pretzel crust!

Cheese with Noodles said...

Cassie, I hope your family is feeling better! And this cheesecake looks very yummy :)