Salted Caramel Cheesecake with a Pretzel Crust

I know, I know – it’s a problem. But I told you that there’d be another salted caramel post. In fact, you oughtn’t be surprised to know that I had this in mind when I posted about salted caramel the last time.

I like cheesecake, but it isn’t my favorite dessert.  I know that some people adore a chocolate cheesecake, but I don’t like the tanginess of cream cheese against the smooth chocolate flavor.  I really only like cheesecakes with tart, fruity toppings, so salted caramel on top never sounded much like my thing. But I did think that the texture of cheesecake with some dark, salted caramel would be perfect. Enter marscapone – a soft, creamy cheese with a flavor more akin to butter than classic Philadephia.

This cheesecake is made with half cream cheese, half marscapone and sweetened with brown sugar and salted caramel. Baked atop a pretzel crumb crust and drizzled with more salted caramel, this cheesecake is less tangy than a traditional version, but equally (more?) delicious.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups pretzel crumbs (crush pretzels into fine crumbs in food processor/blender  – measure after crushed)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup melted margarine

2 packages (8 oz each) regular-fat cream cheese, softened
2 packages (8 oz each) marscapone cheese, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature

Directions

Mix first three ingredients together by hand in 10-inch springform pan. Press against sides and bottom of pan. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 325F. Wrap foil tightly around pan to form a barrier against water. Foil should come as high up pan as possible all the way around.

Blend cheeses together with hand or stand mixer until fluffy – about 5 minutes on medium speed. Stir in sugar and caramel until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time – on low – blending gently after each addition. Don’t over-mix at this point or the cheesecake will fluff up too much while cooking and sink significantly while cooling. Pour into prepared crust. Place unbaked cheesecake into a large roasting pan.

Pour boiling water carefully outside pan, creating a hot water bath. Make sure the water level is below the top of the foil. This will help the cheesecake cook evenly and slowly, but protect your crust from sogginess.

Bake for 70 – 80 minutes, checking frequently. Cheesecake is done when outside stops jiggling. Much of the inside will still jiggle until it sets in the fridge.

Cool completely on cooling rack, and then in fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Top with additional salted caramel sauce and enjoy!

Notes

A regular graham cracker crust would be great here too, especially if you added in chopped hazelnuts or pecans.

Use boiling water, unlike me, to create the water bath. If you don’t, then this could take three hours to bake, with constant checking.

If you aren’t comfortable with the jiggle method for testing doneness, use a thermometer. Cheesecake should be 160-165F.

Use a good caramel sauce for this. Cheap ice cream topping will not do this cheesecake justice. Need help? Ask 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Cheesecake with a Pretzel Crust

  1. It does sound delicious, Ms. Heather. At first I thought–no, I’ve already read this blog–but saw you snuck in another salted caramel post “under the radar”.

  2. Pingback: Say Cheese(cakes)! | mamash mamash

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