Saturday, March 15, 2014

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake

"A good cake unites people." - Quote of the Day
One of the best things about baking is its versatile uses- bake sales, event attractions, fundraisers, fulfilling cravings......
What I love the most though, is the fun of sharing the results with friends and family.

Celebrating the beginning of Spring Break with a Cake Fest


I'm grateful to have such a wonderful group of friends (aka "Fat Rats" since we're born in the Year of the Rat and we love to eat) who've been willing to be my taste-testers and foodie buddies throughout my high school years. Even during the times when I've had failed products (by fail I mean really failed...but still edible), they still helped me with cleaning up those miserable products. 

Sliced Picture: Creamy and soft
So baking a cake for them on their birthdays has sort of become my tradition. The specific cake is usually left as a surprise until the day of our gathering. This is also a time where I get to experience with new recipes or end up making my own (last year was a Rainbow Cake...).

For the past few months I've been craving for caramel apples. Maybe because Vancouver's constant rains calls for something hot and warm...comfort food. Really, the city rains so much SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are somewhat common in its citizens. 

However I couldn't find a caramel apple cheesecake recipe...most of them are either cheesecake bars or pies (oh no). 
So I ended up combining numerous NY Cheesecake and apple crisp recipes and formulated into the one I have right now. 

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Yield: 5 hungry girls or more, not a big cake...
Time: ~50 min for baking, ~20 min for preparation
Ingredients:
FOR CRUST
  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE CHEESECAKE
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) of light cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp of flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 apple, diced into small cubes

TOPPING
  • 2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • approx 4-5 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 300 g of packaged caramels (unless you want to make your own)
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:
1. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and foil wrap around the pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mix together melted butter with graham cracker crumbs and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly brown. 
3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1 tbsp of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until just combined. Beat in ground cinnamon, apple cubes and the remaining 1 tbsp of flour.
4. Pour the batter into the crust. Place your springform pan on top of a larger pan filled with some hot water (creates a hot-water bath, prevents the cheesecake from cracking). Bake for 40 minutes.
5. While the cheesecake is baking, make the topping. Mix the ground cinnamon and brown sugar together and rub it into the apple slices. Melt the caramels in a pot, you can add some water to reduce the thickness (easier to spread).
6. Take the cake out after 40 minutes, arrange the apple slices, sprinkle with walnuts, and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
7. Remove the cake out of the oven, spread the caramel on top, sprinkle with sea salt and cool in fridge for approximately 4-8 hours before removing the cake out of the pan.

NOTE:
  • Feel free to sprinkle some more cinnamon-sugar on top of the apple slices to add some more color to the cake.


The batter
After arranging the apples

Before cooling



ENJOY!