I made this for a dinner party a while back and you could have heard a pin drop when this was set in front of them. And then the first bit was like little foodgasms going off all around the table.
This recipe was adapted from Epicurious Toffee Crunch Caramel Cheesecake...
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1 cup ground peacons
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup toffee bits (Heath Bits O'Brickle)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Mrs. Richardsons Caramel topping or your favorite caramel topping to save yourself the trouble of making homemade caramel which can at times be a little tricky
1/3 to 1/2 cup toffee bits
Photos of the toffee bits just in case anyone wanted to know what to look for at the supermarket
For Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind ground cookies, pecans and sugar in processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.
For cheesecake: Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in flour and butter, then eggs, 1 at a time, until just blended. Beat in vanilla. Pour 1/2 of batter over crust in pan. Sprinkle 1/3 cup toffee bits over the batter. Then pour remaining batter over the bits. Place a large roasting pan or jelly roll pan on lower shelf of oven. Pour water 1/2 way to the lip of the pan. Place cheesecake pan on middle shelf. Bake cake uncovered for 15 minutes at 350. Turn oven down to 250 and bake 30 minutes. Bake 350 for another 15 minutes and then turn down and bake at 250 again for another 15 to 30 minutes. The edges will puff up and the center moves slightly when pan is gently shaken. Total bake time is 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Slide a knife around the sides and then cover with foil and refrigerate 6 hours to over night.
For topping: 2 hours before serving stir sugar, water, and lemon juice in large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until mixture turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 9 minutes. Add cream (mixture will bubble). Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Chill until thickened but still pourable, about 15 minutes.
Spoon caramel over top of cake just to edges (do not allow caramel to drip down sides). Garnish top edges with chopped English toffee. Chill at least 2 hours.
* Adding flour helps it not to crack
* Make sure the cream cheese and sugar are really beaten well before adding eggs. Over beating eggs will add air which causes cracks.
* I never do a waterbath as it always made the crust soggy when I tried so I have done the water in the pan below. Supposedly the moisture in the oven helps to prevent cracking also.
* The reason I do the weird turn up and down of the oven temperature again is to prevent cracking and also over baking the cheesecake.
* Doing this cheesecake 24 hours before eating is always best. It just seems to taste better even better after 24 hours in the fridge.