Monday, March 18, 2013

Caramel Irish Cream Cheesecake with salted Caramel Sauce


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I have entered The Spiked Recipe Challenge for March with This Gal Cooks and Frugal Foodie Mama.

The Challenge was to use Irish Cream in a recipe that is not a drink.  I had never tried Irish Cream until I bought it for this challenge.  After opening the bottle Bill and I were not crazy about the smell.  In the cheesecake though it is divine.   The cheesecake has a little texture of chocolate but a smooth creamy taste.  The granola crust is really good.  I bought some granola in Amish Country when Cally and I visited a few weeks ago.  This granola taste just like crunchy graham crackers.  So instead of using regular graham cracker crumbs which are real fine powder, I decided to use this crunchy granola.  In the picture below you can see how crunchy it is.

I used a very simple caramel sauce.  It is just store bought caramels melted in the microwave then you add a heaping teaspoon of sour cream.  The sour cream smooths out the caramel and keeps it runny instead of it getting sticky as it cools down.  I also use this sauce for dipping apples.

I sprinkled the top of my piece of cheesecake with sea salt to get the sea salt caramel taste.  I did not add the salt to the caramel in case others did not like salty caramel.  I thought the salty taste and the sweetness of caramel along with the whipping cream was delicious!!!

Irish Cream Cheesecake

1 1/2 C granola
1/4 C melted butter
1/4 C sugar

1 1/2 blocks (6oz) White Chocolate squares
1/4 C whipping cream
3 (8oz) Cream Cheese
1 C Sugar
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
1/2 C Bailey's Irish Cream (I used Caramel flavored)
1/4 C flour

Salted Caramel Topping:
12 caramels
1 heaping teaspoon sour cream
sea salt for garnishing

Whipping Cream:
1 C heavy whipping cream
2 T powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Crust:  Mix granola, sugar and melted butter together and press in the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Filling:  Place white chocolate and whipping cream in sauce pan and melt over medium heat.  Once melted let cool to room temperature.

Mix together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.  Pour in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Add the eggs and mix until well combined.  Then add the vanilla and Irish Cream until well mixed together.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.  Pour batter over the crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Turn off oven and open the door, let cake remain in the oven for 20 minutes.

To make the salted Caramel sauce, place caramels in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted.  Once melted add the heaping teaspoon of sour cream and mix well.  This helps the caramels thin out and stay smooth.  If you wish when serving you can sprinkle sea salt on top of the caramel.

whipped topping:

whip 1 C heavy whipping cream until peaks almost form.  Add 2 T powdered sugar and 1/2 t vanilla, continue to whip until stiff peaks form.