TURTLE CHEESECAKE


This Turtle Cheesecake Recipe is made with a graham cracker crust and plenty of caramel, chocolate and pecans! It’s rich, creamy and sure to be a hit!

INGREDIENTS
CARAMEL SAUCE
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 5 tbsp (41g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (28g) pecan chips
  • CRUST
  • 2 cups (268g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted Challenge butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (28g) pecan chips
FILLING
  • 4 oz (2/3 cup | 116g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 24 oz (678g) Challenge cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (144g) light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp (24g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE
  • 2 oz (1/3 cup | 58g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) heavy whipping cream
INSTRUCTIONS

1. To make the caramel sauce, pour the sugar into an even layer in a large saucepan.
2. Heat on medium-high heat, whisking the sugar until melted. The sugar will clump up first, but will eventually completely melt. This should take about 10 minutes.
3. Once the sugar has melted, stop whisking and allow to cook until the sugar has turned to a little darker amber color. You may notice a nutty aroma. The change in color will happen quickly, so don’t let it go too long or get too dark or it’ll burn. Remove the caramel from the heat.
4. Add the butter and whisk until combined. The mixture will bubble up quite a bit, but keep whisking until all the butter has melted and combined.
5. Slowly pour the heavy cream into the caramel and whisk until incorporated. I find it can help to add just a bit at a time until the caramel starts to thin out, then you can add the rest. Whisk until well incorporated and smooth.
6. Set about 1 cup of caramel sauce aside for topping. Add the flour and pecan chips to the remaining caramel and set that aside.
7. To make the cheesecake crust, preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
8. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
9. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
10. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). Set prepared pan aside.
11. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
12. Pour the caramel sauce with the pecans and flour into the bottom of the crust and spread into an even layer.
13. To make the cheesecake filling, put the chocolate chips in a small bowl.
14. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
15. Pour the chocolate into an even layer over the caramel sauce in the crust.
16. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and flour on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
17. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
18. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
19. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust, over the chocolate.
20. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
21. Bake for 1 hour 35 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly.
22. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
23. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
24. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and remove the water bath and wrapping.
25. Pour about 1/2 cup of the remaining caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake and spread into an even layer. If the caramel sauce has firmed up too much to pour, heat it up for about 10 seconds.
26. Refrigerate cheesecake until completely cool and firm, 5-6 hours. When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove it from the springform pan and place on a serving dish.
27. Place the chocolate chips for the drizzle in a small bowl. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 3-4 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
28. Drizzle the remaining caramel sauce and chocolate sauce over the cheesecake and sprinkle with a few more pecan chips. Refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve.

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