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Author Notes: This simple classic cheesecake which I found in a 2001 issue of Bon Appetit came from the dessert menu of Alain Ducasse's Spoon Food & Wine restaurant located off the Champs-Elysees in Paris. It can stand alone supported by its shortbread crust, delicious in its simplicity , or I have topped it with glazed fresh berries for a spectacular presentation.
However, this time I decided a little decadence was called for in the form of a drizzle of warm Salted Caramel Sauce. This takes it to another level altogether, especially if, like me, you're a fan of that sweet and salty combination. This particular sauce is a component of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Salted Caramel Apple Pie, which is a fantastic apple pie. —dinner at sheila's
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chilled, unsalted butter, diced
- 4 8- ounces packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 and 3/4 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap outside of 9-inch-diameter spring-form pan with 2 and 3/4-inch-high sides in 3 layers of foil.
- Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture begins to clump together.
- Press crust onto bottom (not sides) of prepared spring-form pan. Bake until crust is golden, about 25 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- FOR FILLING: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth.
- Beat in 5 whole eggs, then 2 yolks.
- Add whipping cream; beat until smooth.
- Beat in flour.
- Pour filling into baked crust.
- Place cheesecake in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of spring-form pan. Bake until cheesecake is set around the edges and center moves slightly when gently shaken, about 1 hour and 35 minutes.
- Remove from water. Cool slightly. Chill overnight or up to 2 days. Serve cold.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (Maldon sea salt flakes, preferred)
- Cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved.
- Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, brow color, almost copper.
- Cook's Note: This process can take awhile depending on the heat source. Keep an eye on it. If the caramel begins to smoke, you've burned it and you'll have to start over.
- Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream-the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam-be cautious as the sugar will be very hot.
- Whisk the final mixture together over low and sprinkle in the sea salt. If not using immediately, set the caramel aside to cool and then refrigerate covered.
- When ready to serve, drizzle the warmed sauce over the cheesecake. Enjoy!