Category Archives: Caramel

Toffee Crunch Cheesecake

Aside from being gorgeous, this cheesecake is fabulous. I have made this cheesecake four or five times and it always turns out beautifully. The gingersnap crust is a lovely combination with the Heath bar topping. The caramel sauce takes a very watchful eye. You don’t want to take it too far (dark) because it will burn.I think the term ‘dark amber’ is a bit misleading. If I waited for it to turn dark amber, it would have burned and hardened, which I did the first time I made the cheesecake.  You will have left over caramel sauce. The recipe makes about twice the amount you need for the top of the cake. I have no problem with this because I usually decorate the plate with extra sauce.

Toffee Crunch Cheesecake

Toffee Crunch Caramel Cheesecake
Bon Appétit | January 2005

Zoom; Park City, UT
“Each year we receive hundreds of reader requests for recipes from restaurants around the world. And this past year there was a clear favorite — cheesecake. One of the best we tested is from Zoom in Park City, Utah. Here’s their delicious version. — The Editors

At the restaurant, this is served with roasted pears. The cake needs time to set up in the refrigerator overnight, so begin making it at least one day ahead.

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings

Gingersnap crust:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies (about 7 1/4 ounces)
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
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel topping
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 1.4-ounce English toffee candy bars (such as Heath or Skor), chopped

For gingersnap crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 9-inch springform pan with 2 1/2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Stir ground cookies, butter, and sugar in medium bowl until moist clumps form. Press cookie mixture firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Wrap outside of pan with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil. Bake crust until firm and beginning to darken, about 14 minutes. Cool crust. Maintain oven temperature.

For cheesecake:
Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in butter, then eggs, 1 at a time, until just blended. Beat in vanilla. Pour batter over crust in pan. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cake uncovered until filling is puffed around edges and moves slightly in center when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove pan from water; remove foil. Place hot cheesecake uncovered in refrigerator overnight.

For caramel topping:
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 and up to 6 hours.

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides.


Leave a comment

Filed under Bon Appetit, Caramel, Cheesecake, Desserts

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ll start off by saying I heart pumpkin! When I saw this recipe in Food and Wine I knew I would be making this for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin cake-caramel-cream cheese -those are like three of my favorite things and to have them in the same recipe, I couldn’t go wrong. I sort of knew when I was reading through the recipe it was going to be a little more time consuming than I had originally thought, but it would be well worth it in the end. The frosting had a wonderful caramel flavor but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was super caramelly like the description in the article says. The pumpkin cake is a very dense cake, almost a like pumpkin bread. You really could just serve the cake without frosting.

A couple of changes -The caramel took about 20 minutes versing the 9 minutes they have in the recipe. And since I forgot to buy a vanilla bean, I used pure vanilla extract. I added it after I took the caramel off the heat.

In some of the reviews I have read about this cake, most people were upset with the caramel. A couple of people just went out and bought caramel sauce and used that instead. They said it work wonderfully. So if you are interested in making this cake, but are concerned about making your own caramel, try the store bought. Let me know if anyone makes this and uses store bought or makes the homemade.

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS plus 8 hours chilling

In this fun variation on traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves gets frosted with a slightly tangy, super-caramelly frosting. It’s delicious served cold or at room temperature.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pound cream cheese, cut into 2-inch cubes


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup whole milk

Make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. Cook over moderate heat without stirring until a medium-dark amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. (Don’t worry if the butter separates.) Discard the vanilla bean.

Transfer the caramel to the large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk and beat at low speed until the caramel cools slightly and comes together, about 5 minutes. With the machine on, beat in the cream cheese, 1 cube at a time and beating well between additions, until silky. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours.

Meanwhile, make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and eggs at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the oil, then beat in the pumpkin puree. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 batches, beating well between additions.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Place one layer on a plate and spread with 1 cup of the caramel–cream cheese frosting. Top with the second layer and frost the top and side. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before serving.

MAKE AHEAD The cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.

NOTES The cake can be garnished with candied nuts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cake, Caramel, Cream Cheese Frosting, Desserts, Food & Wine, Frosting/Icing, Pumpkin