A Late Evening Snack: Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Earlier this week I broke out the emergency tiara, frilly apron, and matching oven mitts to make a salted caramel cheesecake. This was a favor for the Mom who was giving it as a gift. So I did the salted caramel parts while she did the cheesecake parts.

Here’s the recipe.


3 eight ounce bars of cream cheese

3 eggs

8 ounces of sour cream

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons of butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and mix with the graham cracker crumbs to make the crust. Place the butter moistened crumbs into the bottom of a 10 inch diameter springform pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or buttered. Pat down the crumbs to form the base and then place in the freezer while preparing the cheesecake batter.

Whip the cream cheese and the eggs together until smooth. Alternating between one bar of cream cheese and one egg. Add the sour cream and whip until incorporated. Then add the sugar and the vanilla.

Salted Caramel Ganache

8 ounces of heavy whipping cream

8 ounces of caramels

Place the caramels in a bowl that can be used as the top part of a double boiler. Scald the heavy whipping cream. Pour the scalded cream over the caramels and let sit for five minutes. If the caramels are not completely melted and soft and won’t incorporate with the cream, place the bowl over the top of a pot of boiling water/bottom half of a double boiler, and whisk until the caramels melt and incorporate with the cream into a ganache. Then add kosher salt to taste.

Add the salted caramel ganache to the cheesecake batter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Remove the springform pan from the freezer and pour the cheesecake batter into it. Place in the oven and back for one hour. Then turn off the oven and let it cool with the door open for one hour. Then remove from the oven and let cool on the counter for one hour. Then refrigerate. Once the cheesecake is cold (at least several hours in the refrigerator), make a 1/2 batch of the salted caramel ganache and pour onto the top of the cold cheesecake. It will begin to set up immediately. Sprinkle with kosher salt or finishing salt and place back in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Open thread!

48 replies
  1. 1
    WaterGirl says:

    Wow. Caramels + whipping cream. That sounds awesome.

    I adore chocolate ganache, but I have never made. Can it really be as easy as combining melted chocolate with whipping cream? Off to google.

  2. 2
    Lapassionara says:


  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Open Thread? Cool. I did all of my holiday shopping in about 3.5 hours this afternoon.

  4. 4
    WaterGirl says:

    Okay, so the google tells me that some recipes for chocolate ganache add butter in addition to the whipping cream. Has anyone made chocolate ganache?

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s impressive! Did you get lucky? Or do you shop like my sister, who says “this will work” and just buys the first thing she finds that might be acceptable? (I’m pretty sure it’s not the latter.)

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Yep. 8 ounces of chocolate chips. I use the Ghirardelli dark chocolate ones. 8 ounces of heavy cream. Put the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Scald the cream, pour over the chocolate chips. Let stand for five minutes. Whisk until everything is combined. And you have chocolate ganache.

  6. 6
    WaterGirl says:

    So Adam, how much kosher salt did you add? I think I might have been tempted to just sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on top of the ganache that goes on top of the cheesecake.

  7. 7
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wow, that’s so easy, I might get myself into trouble. Note to self, DO NOT keep both of those ingredients on hand. What if I got a chocolate craving and made a bowl of ganache and ate it? I think the food police arrests you for that, or maybe they just wait until you have the coronary.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: I make a list of people. I come up with one or two options for each and then I go get them. Someone told me she was sending two presents, so I had to find two for her. Fair is fair.

    ETA: Efficient.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: And you can add a tablespoon of unsalted butter as you’re incorporating the chocolate and the cream. Supposedly it makes it extra shiny. I’ve done it both ways and never can tell the difference.

    Also, if you want to make chocolate mousse, make the ganache, then whip 8 more ounces of heavy whipping cream and a teaspoon of vanilla to stiff peaks, then fold the whipped cream into the ganache and refrigerate.

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: I add three or four pinches to the full amount. 1/2 that to the 1/2 batch to go on top. But it is really to taste. If you like your salted caramel really salty add more. If you like it less salty add less.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Mike in NC says:

    2017 was the year of sea-salt and caramel everything, and I was totally OK with that.

  13. 13
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: In case you’re wondering I am sending you 7 presents. Would you like my address?

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.

    Also, for a chocolate cheesecake, just replace the caramel ganache with a chocolate one. Or get fancy and make a salted caramel cheesecake with a chocolate ripple. Or a chocolate cheesecake with a salted caramel ripple. Or a plain cheesecake with both a chocolate and salted caramel ripple.

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Nice try.

  16. 16
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Interesting about the butter. It sounds icky to me, and I don’t think shiny matters.

    Chocolate ganache = nectar of the gods

    Chocolate moose = not enough chocolate and I’m not a fan of the texture.

  17. 17
    Lyrebird says:

    who was giving it as a gift…

    Oh gee, I finally read the post and understand why none of the pictures show us a cut slice!

    Looks like a masterpiece, & I hope the Mom & the lucky recipient were both thrilled.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Try my recipe, you might be surprised.

  19. 19
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Now I’m wondering if I could add chocolate ganache to homemade vanilla ice cream, swirling it in at the last minute. My current favorite ice cream is Haagen Daaz sweet cream coffee caramel . Some bites are sweet cream, some are coffee, some are both, and some have a bit of dark caramel swirl. Heaven.

  20. 20
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hey! What happened to fair is fair???

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes, but as soon as room temperature ganache or hot ganache hits something cold, especially frozen, it immediately sets up and gets hard. Think a chocolate dipped ice cream.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: I trust that Valdivia will send what she said. You don’t know my address.

  23. 23
    Barbara says:

    @WaterGirl: Reciting from memory but you can make the world’s best chocolate icing by melting high quality bittersweet chocolate and mixing in butter after the chocolate is taken off the heat . You just keep stirring until the icing gains the right consistency and you can spread it. Adding flavor such as Grand Marnier makes it even better. Look up the Julia Child recipe for Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba) cake.

  24. 24
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Bummer! It’s the texture of ganache that makes it so awesome. Thanks for telling me, that would have been a huge disappointment. sniff

  25. 25
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Okay. Glad you stayed in touch with Valdivia – I really like her. Doesn’t she love us anymore?

  26. 26
    WaterGirl says:

    @Barbara: That sounds good. No sugar, though?

  27. 27
    Lyrebird says:

    @WaterGirl: re: shopping,

    I put about 2 hrs in for 9 relatives’ gifts, but for the ones getting more than one gift, the second was in all cases a donation from this pro-literacy & pro-girls’ education site. I’m maybe not the best present giver. Then again for my own child, I’ve spent more time than for all the 9 others put together. Those ideals from my younger days of not making our holidays too materialistic are gone…

    (FWIW re: Greater Good, they do have an animal-rescue donations page, too. I haven’t noticed whether Balloon Juice calendars are available yet here.)

  28. 28
    Barbara says:

    @WaterGirl: No sugar. She might combine semisweet and bittersweet chocolate. Also, for caramel lovers, Corby Kummer published a recipe for burnt caramel ice cream in the June 2000 edition of the Atlantic Magazine. He is one of my favorite food writers. I made it a bunch of times and it was great, especially since it had no eggs.

  29. 29
    Greg Ferguson says:

    Evil mf-er!!! Just the thought….[and Happy H!!]

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    Thanks but shall take a pass, salted anything not my bag.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: She is doing well. She badly broke her ankle in Feb. Surgery, et al. Not walking normally until September. A few things here have caused her mostly to stay away. Time, Tommy’s god mode threat, family things, and her injury.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Greg Ferguson: Thanks. I think…

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @Lyrebird: Christmas is for kids, who cares if you spoil them with gifts when they’re young? It’s when they get older and jaded and just rip the wrapping off and reach for the next gift from an endless pile of gifts that I get kind of cranky.

    Nice that you are giving those donation gifts. Good reminder about the BJ calendar! I saw one announcement and didn’t see any reminders about the deadline and I forgot all about it.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Than just leave the salt out and make a caramel cheesecake with a caramel ganache topping. Too easy.

  35. 35
    seaboogie says:

    Adam – saw the hed and immediately went to “tiara and frilly apron”. So glad that you now have matching oven mitts.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @Barbara: I will have to try the frosting. I think the google found the burnt caramel recipe. Sounds like a lot of work, but probably worth it! I’ll save that for summer.

  37. 37
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well, boo hiss on the ankle thing that sucks. She’s quite active, I think, so that double sucks. At least one of her parents was having health problems and she was doing some care-taking, anything better on that front? Please say hi to her for me and give her my best!

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @seaboogie: I’ve always had them. They came as a set.

  39. 39
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Perhaps someday. Never been much of a fan of cheesecake. Find it, in a word, dull.

    Do have some bread machine recipes which call for adding chopped nuts part of the way through. Instead, I grind them very fine and add them initially, much like a flour. Been a way to slowly work through a container of honey roasted cashews.

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Will do. On the hi and best wishes front.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: It’s your food. You should enjoy it however you want.

  42. 42
    Lyrebird says:

    @WaterGirl: Hey thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Christmas is for kids, who cares if you spoil them with gifts when they’re young?

    And my kid is in a big-tent family, so there are gifts all month, pretty much. We celebrate Channukah, then we typically join other relatives for their Christmas celebrations, and we do not want to come empty-handed to those, plus my kid is adorable and attracts gifts. No credit to me, he just is.

    Luckily for my shopping chores, most of the older folks are downsizing, happy to get donation certificates and or edibles rather than stuff that takes up space.

    For kiddos, at least when we’re spreading stuff out over eight nights, individual gifts get noticed.

  43. 43
    WaterGirl says:

    @Lyrebird: Sincere apologies for assuming Christmas! I love buying and giving gifts, so a month of gifts sounds pretty fun. Kind of like I think the minimum for birthdays should be birthday week.

    When I get to my niece’s on Christmas Eve day (she hosts Christmas) I usually give the kids their gifts as soon as I get there. As you say, individual gifts get noticed, as opposed the humongous pile they get on the day itself.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lyrebird: @WaterGirl: My sister in law isn’t Jewish. So my nephews get Hanukka gifts, Christmas gifts, and they have birthdays in early January, so they get birthday gifts. They make out like bandits!

  45. 45
    Lyrebird says:

    @WaterGirl: No problem. Kind of you to say what you did!

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They make out like bandits!

    Yes, my little bandit aspires to exactly this. Already asking, “how many months until my birthday?” when we’ve barely begun the holiday gift-a-palooza.

    Kiddo does like to give, as well, at least. And likes to help cook.

    Plus, when they’re still young enough to like toys, that means you get to shop in really fun stores.

  46. 46
    SgrAstar says:

    @WaterGirl: re Chocolate Mousse: there are two schools of thought on this very serious subject. One favors whipping cream, the other repudiates it absolutely. The ur-recipe for Chocolate Mousse purists is Julia Childs’, easily googleable. The base is butter and eggs, the recipe is super easy and really, really good. Strongly recommended for chocolate lovers.

  47. 47
    Miss Bianca says:

    Oh, this looks wickedly delicious. I used to have a cheesecake pan donkey’s years ago, I wonder what happened to it…

  48. 48
    raptusregaliter says:

    Hey Adam: What’s the texture like on the caramel ganache after it gets cold in the refrigerator? Is it hard or sticky or chewy, or is it close to the texture of chocolate ganache?

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