Monday, 24 February 2014

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Drizzle

One heck of a long name, but one HECK of a dessert. Holy shmoly these things are decadent. I came across this recipe a couple of weeks ago and as soon as I saw the pictures I was like "YEP, that's next!" Plus, I had the perfect occasion to make them for - My Grandpa's 80th Birthday Brunch!

My Grandpa is an amazing man. Always wanting the very best for his grandkids, he built us everything we could ever possibly want (including but not limited to a KILLER playhouse in their backyard). My grandparent's house was one of my favourite places to go to in the summer. Not only did they have a pool, they had an incredible back yard (with the perviously mentioned playhouse), endless games & toys, a sailboat and, oh yea, they lived about a 5 minute walk from downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake. It crushed me when they had to sell their house last year, but I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take my wedding photos there before it sold!
 I love my Grandpa SO much & I feel so grateful that he is still around. Unfortunately, I missed his family birthday celebration because I was in NYC for work, so we had my grandparents, my sister & and Dad over for brunch yesterday. We had some amazing waffles (great recipe here from Redpath) and then these cheesecakes for dessert (yes, dessert after brunch, don't judge).

Before I tell you the recipe, I do have to be honest. I wasn't a huge fan of this Salted Caramel Sauce. To me, it didn't taste quite right. I'm going to do some experimenting of my own later, but for now, I'll include the original recipe. Make sure you have an empty jar on hand so you can store this sauce for later. The recipe makes quite a bit.

Also, I made HALF of the original recipe, so if you need to make more than 9 mini cheesecakes, you can just double the below.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust & Salted Caramel Drizzle

Oreo Crust:
9 Oreos (store bought or homemade)
1/8 cup melted butter

8 oz (1 package) full fat cream cheese
3/8 cup white sugar
1/8 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini work best)

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup white sugar
6 tbsp salted butter (cut into 6 pieces)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used 10% but whipping cream, cream would have been better)
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 9 liners. Put water in any empty tins (helps the cheesecakes to bake evenly)
First we make the crust: In a food processor, crush the Oreos until the are crumbly. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the melted butter until evenly combined. Press about 1 tablespoon into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake for 5 minutes. Take out and allow to cool while you make the cheesecake. 

For the cheesecakes: Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment) beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth and fluffy - you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times with a spatula. Next, add in the sugar & sour cream and beat until everything is combined. Add the egg and beat into the mixture at LOW speed until incorporated. Add the vanilla and chocolate chips and beat in on low.

Using a large spoon, evenly distribute the cheesecake mixture into the 9 cupcake liners. You want them to be nearly full. Place in the oven for 18-20 minutes. You don't want them to be browned, so remove them when the centers are just SLIGHTLY jiggly. Remove from oven (they may seem quite puffed up, but they will deflate) and allow to cool at room temperature for an hour. Then, place in a container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least TWO hours). 

Time to make the sauce: Place sugar in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Stir the sugar constantly. It will eventually start to crumble (it takes some time, so be patient) and then start to melt down. DO NOT STOP STIRRING. The sugar can burn quite quickly. It will eventually turn into an amber coloured liquid. 

Once the sugar is completely melted, add in the butter. Be careful here because when you add the butter, the sugar will splutter and bubble up. Stir until completely melted. Next, slowly drizzle the cream into the mixture. Again, it will splutter and bubble. Boil for one minute while constantly stirring. 

Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before drizzling on top of the cheesecakes and enjoy with a tall glass of milk or a coffee.They are sooooo decadent.
Pour the rest into a jar and store in the fridge. When you're ready to use again, heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds. 


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