I’m a dessert lover! I would skip dinner and go straight to dessert if I could.
So, when choosing a dessert for a Book Club meeting or a party, it’s a serious matter. I want to serve something delicious! My go-to dessert is Cheesecake.
I like it because you can make it ahead of time and it’s versatile. You can serve it plain, add fruit or my favorite Toffee with Warm Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream. It’s to die for; I’m not kidding.
So here’s the secret to what I think makes a perfect cheesecake. There’s two, lemon juice and placing your springform or cupcake pan in water while baking.
Over the years, the request for my cheesecake has grown. It’s a family favorite and always a crowd pleaser at parties. It’s not my recipe. My former neighbor, who was an excellent baker and cook shared it with me.
I think the original recipe came from Gourmet Magazine or Bon Appetite, but I can no longer find it online. I will happily give credit if anyone can provide the information. I’m so thankful for this recipe. I was inspired to make the mini cheesecakes from Trisha Yearwood’s recipe Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes. They look delicious!
The beauty of this cheesecake is you can make a whole cheesecake or mini cheesecakes. Someone once asked me if I bought it from a bakery. I have to admit I was proud! My personal favorite and most requested is the Toffee Caramel. The fruit topping is perfect for summer or to match your holiday table setting.
Visit our blog post “Book Club Party” for more entertaining ideas. Enjoy this recipe and have fun at your next gathering!
Toffee Cheesecake with Warm Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 lbs of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
5 large eggs ( room temperature)
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (cut into small pieces – room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup whipping cream
1.4-ounce toffee candy bars (such as Skor) broken
Preheat oven to 350* F.
Lightly butter inside of 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 high sides.
Combine crumbs, butter and brown sugar in small bowl.
Press crumbs over bottom and 1 inch up sides of the pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy.
Add sugar and beat until smooth.
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Mix in vanilla extract.
Add fresh lemon juice.
Pour the filling into prepared crust.
Bake until cake rises about 1/2 inch over rim and center moves only slightly when the pan is shaken. (about 1 hour 15 minutes)
Cool on a rack (cake will fall as it cools, sinking in the center.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Heat sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until mixture is rich caramel color, occasionally swirling and washing down sides of pan with a brush dipped into cold water, about 8 minutes.
Reduce heat to very low.
Add cream (mixture will bubble up) and stir until smooth.
Mix in butter.
Mix in vanilla.
Using a small sharp knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen.
Release pan sides.
Pour 2/3 cup of caramel sauce into center of cake.
Cover remaining caramel sauce and let stand at room temperature.
Chill cake until caramel topping is almost set. (about 2 hours)
Whip 3/4 cup cream with 2 Tbl. Sugar in medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe whipped cream, decorating around the edge of cake. Arrange toffee pieces in whipped cream border. Refrigerate until serving.
Cut cake into wedges. Serve passing remaining sauce separately.