Irish Cream Caramel Cheesecake

Lynn demonstrates how to make a delicious Irish Cream Caramel Cheesecake that would be a perfect dessert for a St. Patrick's Day meal.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 8 ounces chocolate wafers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Baileys
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

For the caramel topping:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 9" spring form pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  

Crust:

In a food processor, grind up the chocolate wafers.  You can also put them in a Ziploc plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.  Mix the wafer crumbs with the sugar and butter and make sure they are moist and clump together slightly.  I did this entire step in the food processor, but you can stir together in a bowl.  Transfer the mixture to a 9" spring form pan and press evenly on the bottom and about 2" up the sides of the pan.  Bake in the oven 9-12 minutes.  Let the pan cool on a rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.

Filling:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, flour and a pinch of salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Make sure the cheese has no lumps.  Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.  

Add the Baileys and vanilla and beat until blended, about 30 seconds.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended.   Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

Bake at 300° until the center is still jiggly like Jell-O, about 55-65 minutes.  It will be slightly puffed around the edges and the center will still look moist.  Set on a rack and cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Topping:

In a 2 qt. saucepan, combine the  ½ cup granulated sugar and 3 Tablespoons water and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear, 2-3 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium high and cook without stirring until the sugar begins to turn golden-brown on the edges.  Gently swirl the pan over the heat to even out the color, and cook until the sugar turns golden-amber, 3-5 minutes.  Off the heat, carefully add the cream, butter and a pinch of salt.  Cook, whisking constantly over medium-low heat until well blended and smooth.  Set aside until the caramel has cooled, about 15 minutes.

Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan.  Remove the bottom, if desired and place on a flat serving plate.  Pour the caramel topping onto the cheesecake and spread evenly.

To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice for best results.

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Lynn's Recipes: March 2013
www.lynnsrecipes.com

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