10 March 2010

Turtle Cheesecake

It's my baby brother's birthday and he's requested Turtle Cheesecake.  After searching long and hard for a recipe, I've created my own version using multiple ideas and sources!

Turtle Cheesecake
1 Tablespoon Butter

3 tbsp pecans
9 oz Trader Joe Joe's chocolate creme cookies
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

24 oz cream cheese; softened
1/2 cup brown sugar; packed then sifted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 Eggs
1 Egg yolk
1/4 Cup heavy cream
5 Turtle candies, chopped

Milk Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 Cup Heavy cream
3/4 cup 60% bittersweet chocolate chips

Caramel Sauce:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter

Prepare the crust:
1. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
2. Using a food processor, chop nuts.  Add cookies and chop until fine.  With food process running, add butter.  Press crumb mixture on the bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate until firm.

Prepare the filling:
3. In the bowl of mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour and salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until free of lumps. Mix in vanilla. Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time, and continue beating until batter is smooth. Stir in cream and candies. Pour filling into crust.
4. Bake on the middle shelf in a preheated 325-degree oven until cheesecake is fairly firm to touch (center will jiggle slightly when pan is tapped), about 40 minutes. Turn off oven, open door and pull out rack.  With rack pulled out, cool cake completely.  Refrigerate overnight.
5. Remove cheesecake from pan and decorate as desired. Refrigerate until time to serve.

Chocolate Ganache: Bring cream to a simmer over medium heat (do not let boil). Pour over chocolate chips. Whisk until melted and thoroughly blended. Let cool. Drizzle ganache over cake with a pastry bag or a spoon.

Caramel Sauce:  Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Boil, without stirring until deep amber in color.  Remove from heat and slowly stir in cream.  Add butter and stir until melted.