Friday, February 4, 2011

Homemade Cheesecake

After being inspired by my amazing-cheesecake-baking friend, I decided to make it a personal goal this year  to make my first cheesecake.

Culinary expert though I am (wink wink), I have never made a cheesecake. There is something about it that always intimidated me. Water baths, soft fillings, cookie crusts... I don't know, it just sounds scary.

Doesn't it?

I think another factor is that I never really liked cheesecake growing up. I hated cream cheese. I didn't like the texture. Etc. Etc. Etc.

It was only after I went to the Cheesecake Factory for the first time that I discovered that cheesecake was a good thing. A really good thing. A please-order-me-a-Cheesecake-Factory-Cheesecake-every-month good thing. (which has never happened, but wouldn't that be nice?)

Anyway... so this past week I made my first ever cheesecake. I read oodles of cheesecake making techniques and play by plays and found this recipe  for a Turtle Cheesecake and decided to try it.  *For those with boys, please note, it's a turtle as in chocolate, caramel and pecans... not turtle as in creature that lives in land and water*

I didn't follow the recipe exactly.  I started out with an Oreo cookie crust (instead of wafer). Being an amateur, I goofed and didn't put the crust up along the sides of the pan.

I toasted the pecans while the crust was baking. Oh how good is a toasted pecan?

My handy dandy Kitchen Aid and I stirred up the batter while the crust cooked. I opted out of making the entire batter chocolate and kept it plain instead, but added chocolate swirls before baking.

After the crust was cool, I poured creamy caramel over the crust, and topped with pecans.

Then topped the entire mixture with the cheesecake batter. I swirled the batter with some remaining caramel and roughly chopped chocolate baking pieces.

I think it just about baked perfectly. I did get a single crack on the top which marred it's beauty. And because I didn't put the crust up the sides of the pan, some of the caramel bubbled out and hardened along the edges. It didn't taste bad (or burnt) it just made the edge a little crunchy. But I'll fix that the next time. I might try a water bath too, I just didn't have the right equipment to do it this time.

After it had completely cooled and chilled over night, I topped it with some remaining toasted pecans and drizzled caramel and melted chocolate over the top. It was pretty amazing for a first cheesecake.

So there you have it! My first cheesecake! I'd offer you a piece, but it's just about gone already. That's what happens when you try sneaking a piece for breakfast and your little boys catch you with your mouthful.

Yes, you guessed correctly: I let my boys eat cheesecake for breakfast too. What can I say? I'm such a fun mom.


Alicia said...

That looks delicious. Wow!

A remedy for leaking is to wrap the pan in foil before anything is in it. I usually layer two pieces on top of each other slightly overlapping, tape any seams with masking tape, then turn pan over and wrap foil around it.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

That is my favorite cheesecake to make! :) It is gobbled up!

Grandma said...

Yummmm! Can I have some? You may remember that my favorite cheesecake is a white chocolate one, made with some apricot brandy and white chocolate chips. It has incredibly smooth textures and awesome flavor. Not long ago I tried a coconut cheesecake, from the Cheesecake factory and that was the best one I have tasted in recent memory. I love the turtle cheesecake too! There is nothing like of my absolute favorite things to eat any old time, and yes, I have had it for breakfast, while your two sisters were happily eating their own pieces! Hmmm....must be a family thing?

Rachael said...

Great job! Looks delish!!!

Anonymous said...

Surely this must be illegal!!

My mouth is watering...I need to find a lo-carb version.

Wendy said...

Wow! It LOOKS AMAZING! I would've definitely done the exact same thing, and my kids would've joined me for sure! My son LOVES caramel, and anything "Turtle"--it never occurred to me to make a Turtle Cheesecake, though!
Oh! I see the link to the recipe! I'll be checking that out, for sure.
Thanks for this luscious idea!

Wendy said...

I see I overdosed on "for sures"! My "talkin Minnesotan" coming out, ya sure, you betcha!

Rach said...

Haha! You are such a fun mom! :)

Sergeant Zapple said...

I am so glad it turned out for you. It looks amazing!

Coffee Break Mama said...

Yum-o! I've never made a cheesecake before, but now I'm totally inspired (and hungry!)

Karen said...

Yes you are a fun mom! Enjoy this season with your little guys-you'll be blessed and so will they. Thanks for stopping by for MMOM. Isn't grace wonderful? blessings on your day, k

Ostriches Look Funny said...

wow, that looks AWESOME, and frankly I'm relieved it wasn't made out of turtles.

Susie B. Homemaker said...

Oh my gosh, this looks so delicious! Definitely going to attempt this one of these days. :)

Create With Joy said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your cheesecake looks fab - but I also enjoyed reading thru your blog posts!

I look forward to getting to know you over at Create With Joy!



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