Sunday, March 18, 2007

Green with Envy

I attended a baby shower today and the theme was Green! Not only is it St. patty's Day, but the sex of the baby is unknown and green is a nice and neutral color...Not to mention, our mommy-to-be is a sucker for turtles!

I had to harass the hostess for suggestions of something for me to make and bring with me and the eonly feedback I received was "something green." Now we all know that green food is usually something healthy and good for you, but I was being asked to bring baked goods...hmmm, such a dilemma.

Finally, Jen decided she wanted Turtle Cheesecake. It isn't green, but it is a "turtle," so the theme still works.

Well, my first attempt at a Turtle Cheesecake was quite the success - everyone at the party ended up hoped up on chocolate and caramel and it made for good times. So enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
Serves 12
Garnish with whipped cream; drizzle with caramel and chocolate, if desired. I bought a couple of boxes of Dove Turtles, chopped them and sprinkled them all over the top. then I drizzled some bought caramel sauce over the whole thing!

Equipment Needed: 9-inch Springform pan

2 Cups cracker crumbs, graham
1/3 Cup sugar, white
1/2 Cup butter, unsalted melted
30 Each caramels
3 Tablespoons milk, whole
3/4 Cup pecans chopped
1 Cup chocolate chips, semisweet melted and cooled
24 Ounce(wt)s cheese, cream - regular softened
1 Teaspoon extract, vanilla
3/4 Cup sugar, white
3 Large egg, whole

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix well and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

To make the Caramel Filling: In a small saucepan, combine caramels and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Stir in chopped pecans.

Pour melted caramel/pecan mixture onto crust and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold 1/3 of the filling into the melted chocolate, then pour the chocolate mixture back into the filling and mix until no streaks remain. Pour into crust.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until center is almost set (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the cheesecake should read 150 degrees).

Transfer the cake to a wire rack, and run a paring knife around the edge of the cake. Let cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, running a paring knife around the edge of the cake every hour or so. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.