Classic Cheesecake with Carmel Sauce

Friday, September 23, 2011

Well, I made a cheesecake for Mr. Schwartz's birthday.  If you read my last post I was pretty disappointed that we couldn't eat it for dessert on his actual birthday.  I didn't read the whole recipe before starting...turns out those little **'s at the bottom of the recipe had "cheesecakes take time to season.  It is worth the wait."  Grr...

But we did find out that cheesecakes do take time to season and it was even better the second day of "seasoning."  Most of you know that I am not much of a baker and a cheesecake does involve baking--unless you make one of those Jell-o No Bake Cheesecakes which actually are quite delish.  However, a real cheesecake takes the cake. Ha, very funny.  

As usual I did modify the heck out of the recipe I found....I combined two recipes and made this insane carmel sauce.  Well, I guess you could call it that.  what I did was boil a can of sweetened condensed milk for 90 minutes and let it cool.  Have you ever tried this!? I heard of it randomly then googled the heck out of it because every website I found had **WARNING THE CAN CAN EXPLODE AND DESTROY YOUR LIFE** well, kind of like that minus the destroy your life part.  So needless to say I was on pins and needles until I turned off the burner 90 minutes later.  I didn't tell my mom this was my plan in fear of her telling me it was a bad idea.  Mom, I survived, the house survived and we ate this carmel by the spoonful.  And by we I mean me. Mr. Schwartz was a little less impressed than I was.  

I do have to say this cheesecake was amazing but I would tweak two things: 1. I would put the crust in the food processor for longer and 2. I would probably try a water bath for baking.  I hear this makes for a creamier texture.  Don't get me wrong, this was pretty creamy but it did not have the same texture as the Cheesecake Factory.  

I will quit rambling now and get to the good stuff: sugar, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Yep.  

Musical Selection: You Got Me by Colbie Caillat.  This one is for my lovie, dovie sweetie pie schnookems, Mr. Schwartz.  I just can't help it, celebrating his birthday makes me all gushy and re-obsessed with him all over again.  Seriously, I'm obsessed. In a normal wife kinda way. 
 Start by making the crust. I found this recipe and was told via the web that it is close to the recipe for the crust used at the Cheesecake Factory.  The recipe also called for walnuts--I'm allergic.  Well, I think I am. I get this funny feeling behind my ears that forces me to act like Will Smith in Hitch.  Yep, attractive.  No walnuts for us. But I did add almonds--forgot to take a pic. (Insert almond picture here)
 Oh and there is Nilla Wafers.  Haven't had these in years--totally underrated. Sad that we only used 3/4 of a cup.  I totally didn't spread the carmel sauce between two of these to make a Nilla Carmel Sandwich.  Riiight.
 Oh here are some almonds.  Pop the cookies and nuts into a food processor.
 Again, let me reiterate that I would process this a little longer.  There was a slight crunch to the crust and we would prefer for it to be a little finer.  If you want a little nutty crunch go ahead, I won't judge.
 Pour in the melted butter....
 Stir to combine.
 Press into a 9' spring form pan 1/2 the way up the side of the pan. Don't mind my tingers especially the one with the open wound. Appetizing.
 Set the crust aside and get to work on the filling.  Start with two blocks of cream cheese.
 Beat until helps if they are room temp.
 Add the white sugar.
 Mix until fluffy again.
 Add the eggs one at a time, mix between each egg and scrape the sides.
 Add the flour
 And lemon juice.  Yep, that little spot is the lemon juice. I really wouldn't skip this part, we really liked the subtle lemon flavor this added.
 Lastly stir in the sour cream.  I used light sour cream.
 Pour into the pan over the crust.
 Bake in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes.  Look at this!  Leave it in the oven with the door cracked for another hour.  Not sure why you do this--if anyone knows please enlighten me, I'm sure it continues to cook but I was just following directions--for once.
 While this was going on I attempted to not blow up the house.  I took the label off of the can and put it into a stock pot of boiling water.  All of the instructions online say that you MUST KEEP THE CAN COVERED ON ALL SIDES WITH WATER DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS.  So I feel like I must reiterate that.  Do not just let it boil and walk away.  I had about 17 gallons of water in my stock pot and checked it every 20 minutes.
 There it is pre-boil.  Seriously I was on pins and needles until I took this baby off the heat.  And please, do not sue me if you do this incorrectly and blow the top off your house.
 90 Minutes later and this is what you have.  Oh my goodness.  Seriously amazing.  From the research I did you can totally make a few of these at a time and they keep for at least a year.  Boil them and leave them in your pantry labeled as carmel and break them out as you need them.
 The next day this is the gloriousness we enjoyed.
 Yep. Amazing....
 I could totally drink this stuff. Wait, I my coffee the next morning. Try that one on for size.  It would also be great on ice cream, apple crisp, pumpkin pie, an old boot, pretty much anything.
Enjoy!!! and HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABE!!! I love you more than the world. xoxo 

Classic Cheesecake 

For the Crust: 
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup almonds
3/4 cup finely chopped vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons melted butter

Place nuts and Nilla Wafers in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine sand.  Mix with melted butter and press into a 9 inch buttered springform pan set aside. 

For the Filling: 
2 8oz blocks of  cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice

**All the filling ingredients should be at room temperature.

Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with an electric mixer set on low 
Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat after each egg. Make sure to scrape the sides every other egg as well. 
Add flour, vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.
Add the sour cream and beat well.
Pour cream cheese mixture into the springform pan.
Place on the top rack in the middle of a 325 degree F preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes.
When time is up turn oven off, prop open oven door and leave in oven for one hour.
Remove from oven and let cool then refrigerate for 24 hours.
***Remember this important tip : A cheesecake should season. The wait is worth it...I promise!!! 


Recipe adapted from here


  1. I've actually made caramel this way a few times, it's DELICIOUS!!! It's really good between two sugar cookies, on ice cream/brownies, and really like you said, anything.

  2. Seriously amazing isn't it!? I have just a little left over, I wonder what I should put it on tonight.....

  3. I just saw this recipe and can't wait to try it.
    I only make what we Brazilians call Doce de Leite this way... only i boil by cans in a pressure cooker which is way more dangerous, but since i've been around this way of doing it forever i don't get nervous at all...... the important key is to wait until the can has cooled completely before attempting to open it.
    thanks for the recipe


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