Introduction: Triple Coffee Salted Caramel Cappuccino Cheesecake
This decadent cheesecake has it all---Rich chocolate and coffee crust; silky coffee-infused cheesecake filling; and a thick layer of homemade salted caramel. In all, three types of coffee provide culinary depth.
As a cheesecake enthusiast, I have baked hundreds of them. I love trying new flavors, and this one---coffee, chocolate, salted caramel---is my absolute favorite. It's coffee-house spectacular!
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. whole coffee beans
2 T. cocoa powder
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. instant coffee powder
4 eggs, room temperature
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. heavy cream
Whole coffee beans
Caramel or chocolate sauce
Measuring cups and spoons
9" Springform pan with removable bottom
10"x15" glass pan or jelly-roll pan
Electric stand mixer
Step 1: Create the Crust
Melt butter in a saucepan. After it is melted, stir and watch it carefully to prevent burning, and allow it to lightly brown. Remove from heat.
Place the graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and coffee beans in a food processor. Process until finely crushed. Add remaining of crust ingredients. Process.
Using a heat-safe spatula or spoon, fold crumb mixture into melted butter.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan. Press crust onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the prepared pan. Set crust aside.
Step 2: Make the Filling
In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat in the sour cream, liqueur, flour, and instant coffee. Add eggs and vanilla; beat lightly on low speed just until combined.
Step 3: Prepare the Pan
Place the springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Put the pan inside a large glass 10"x15" baking pan or jelly-roll pan. Carefully add 1 inch of boiling water to the larger pan, around the outside of the springform pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust.
Step 4: Bake the Cheesecake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cheesecake in water bath for 55-60 minutes, or until center is just set and top of cheesecake appears dull. Don't overbake; cheesecakes continue to bake as they cool. It doesn't matter if the top of the cheesecake browns slightly or cracks; the top will be completely covered in caramel sauce.
Remove from the oven.
Remove springform pan from the water bath. Remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge to loosen crust from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool one hour longer.
Step 5: Make the Homemade Caramel Sauce
For caramel sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and heavy cream; whisk continuously over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
Bring mixture to a boil and stir while boiling for exactly 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Step 6: Plate and Garnish
Pour most of the caramel sauce over the cheesecake, saving some sauce for garnish. Using a spatula, spread caramel to the edges. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set.
Remove rim of the springform pan.
To serve, drizzle extra caramel sauce on individual plates. Cut cheesecake into 12 slices. Place a slice on each plate. Top each serving with coarse salt. Garnish with whipped cream and whole coffee beans as desired.
Step 7: Storage and Yield
Store remaining cheesecake well-covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Cheesecakes also freeze well if tightly wrapped.
Yield: 12 servings, and additional caramel sauce.
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