Turtle Cheesecake

November 4, 2013

in Cakes,Cheesecakes

Last week, my work buddy Juan and I celebrated birthdays.  Because, he’s a Halloween baby, and my birthday is a couple of days earlier, the holiday is a special one for us.

As always, I was on the lookout for a special cake recipe to mark the occasion.  I thought this turtle cheesecake would be just the ticket since Juan not only loves cheesecake but is known for the fabulous cheesecakes he bakes and shares with our work group.

This turtle cheesecake is incredibly decadent with an Oreo cookie crust, a layer of caramel and pecans, the cheesecake itself which is then topped with a chocolate ganache—and, for the grand finale—is then topped with a generous drizzle of more caramel and toasted pecans.  All the flavors and different textures combine to make one very special cheesecake.

This outrageously delicious cheesecake had an unintended consequence.  After the director of our group took her first few bites, she announced that it was the best cheesecake she had ever tasted.  As soon as she said it, she realized that she had made a faux pas since Juan is known as Mr. Cheesecake!  Uh oh…

Knowing Juan as I do, he is already plotting to make a cheesecake that will relegate this turtle cheesecake to 2nd place.  I can’t wait to see and taste it!

One year ago:  Election Day Cupcakes

Two years ago:  Fried Green Tomatoes

Turtle Cheesecake

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Ingredients for the Crust

  • 24 Oreo cookies, finely crushed into crumbs
  • 6 tbl. unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the Caramel-Pecan Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups caramel sauce
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Ingredients for the Cheesecake

  • 32 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbl. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Make the Crust:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toss together the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt until all of the crumbs are moistened.  Press into the bottom and two inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Place pan in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Bake for 7 minutes, or until crust is firm.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

Make the Caramel-Pecan Layer:  In a small bowl, stir together the caramel sauce and pecans. Pour onto the cooled crust and gently spread into an even layer.  Refrigerate while the cheesecake is prepared.

Make the Cheesecake:  Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.  Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.  Pour the batter on top of the caramel-pecan layer and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little.

Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours.  Once completely cool, refrigerate for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).

Make the Chocolate Ganache:  Combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, chocolate and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.  Set the glaze aside to cool and thicken at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake, gently spreading it to the edges.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes, or until set.  Remove the sides of the pan, garnish with additional caramel sauce and chopped pecans, and serve.  Leftover cheesecake can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Fran’s Notes

We also had a Halloween pot luck with some very creative and delicious punches.  I’m after the recipes!

Check out the candy corn drink and the magic potion with its gummy worm ice ring:

Candy Corn Punch

Magic Potion Punch

Source:  A recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker

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