Thursday, January 13, 2011

Turtle Cheesecake

Anyone who knows me knows I love to make cheesecakes. This week I attempted my first turtle cheesecake ever for a friend at work. I ended up combining three recipes' ideas and it turned out so yummy! (Though, we won't mention how many calories are in one slice!)

I didn't take a picture of mine but it looked something like this (but better in my humble opinion :)

Crust Layer 1:
24 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
6 T butter or margarine, melted

Crust Layer 2:
1 14 oz bag Kraft caramels
5oz evaporated milk

1 3/4 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons lime juice (I used Lemon juice)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3-3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

 - Ganache (1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream)
 - Mini chocolate chips
 - Caramel
 - Chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
1. Mix Oreo crumbs and melted butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

2. Place the evaporated milk in a saucepan, add caramels and melt over low heat. Heat and stir frequently until smooth. Pour mixture onto crust (Just spread caramel over bottom of crust, I had a lot of caramel  leftover). Refrigerate 10 mins.

3. Beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lime juice and vanilla extract; beat until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared oreo/caramel crust.

4. Bake for 55-70 mins or until edge is set and center moves slightly.

5. My cooling method: Cool in oven with door ajar for 1 hour. Next, place cake on countertop, loosen edge with knife, and cool for another hour. 

6. Once cooled, place in fridge several hours or overnight.

7. To garnish:
 - Make ganache: place chips in small bowl. In a saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chips;   whisk until smooth. Cool slightly. Spread over cheesecake. 
- Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Serve with leftover caramel topping.
- Place back in refrigerator until ganache is set.

Yum! A lot of work, but totally worth it :)

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