This was my very first cheesecake. I have never made one in my life. Let me tell you, it was a little stressful, but with the help of my wonderful fiance, everything turned out fine, and DELICIOUS!!
I found the recipe on allrecipes.com. The pictures of it on this website make it look absolutely delicious, but I didn’t have enough to create the topping, creating a not-so-good looking cake, but it was okay because everyone LOVED this cheesecake. Actually, Drew’s family told me that I should just make his grooms cake for the wedding, since he just wants cheesecakes. I said NO of course, but I told Drew I would always make him a cheesecake if he wants one. :) I’m going to be a great wife!
Anyways, here’s what you will need:
- 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 14 ounces individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
- 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter one 9 inch springform pan.
Step 2: Toast the pecans at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes, or until crispy (we had to do this twice because 6 minutes for us was too long). Remove pecans and set aside. Leave oven at 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter.
Step 3: Combine vanilla wafer crumbs with the melted butter then press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Place the pan onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove and allow to cool. I placed mine in the freezer till the next step.
Step 4: In a double boiler, or a bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the caramels in the evaporated milk. Stir until smooth. Pour this over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the nuts over the top.
Step 5: In a bowl, combine the cheese, sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl several times. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until smooth. Melt the chocolate chips in the double boiler and mix into the cheese mixture. Pour the batter over the caramel layer. If your caramel isn’t hardening, it’s ok, but when you pour the cheese mixture over it, your caramel and pecans will move closer to the edges, which is fine, it still tastes good. (I freaked out about it, heh…)
Step 6: Someone recently told me how to actually cook a cheesecake without it cracking. They said you have to create a steam over. You have to fill a pan with 1” of water and place on the bottom rack. Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until barely set. If this doesn’t seem to be working, because I haven’t tried it, just bake it without the water pan. If 40 minutes doesn’t seem like it’s finished, bake it until it barely starts to crack. You don’t want huge cracks on the top, because then the top of the cheesecake will be hard. Chill over night in the refrigerator before serving.
Good luck with your cheesecake. If you have any suggestions, let me know. This was my first cheesecake and it was almost a fool-proof recipe.