Cheesecake for Mother’s Day

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on May 7, 2014

blackberry and cheesecake 012

Mother’s Day 2014
This year Mother’s day 2014 falls on Sunday May 11. I hope you are planning to celebrate with your mother or any mother this year. Mother’s nurture life and all of the traditional accolades are truly deserved. It is a shame that they often go without recognition of their essential contributions and are unappreciated.

I miss my mom, Noni, Jean Tamar Chiprut Capeloto. I have to say that I am still angry with her for willing herself to pass on and not staying with us to celebrate all of our accomplishments. As time passes I realize I did not do a good enough job of recording all of the knowledge she had stored in her mind about family, about food, about the world as it was; I have so many questions.

So this year not only celebrate but make up your mind to record a family tree, find out and write down that favorite recipe, stop and take time to record her stories about the trip to America, the depression, the war, her parents. Stop for an afternoon and spend some time with your mom or grandma before the window of opportunity passes and be sure and take lots of pictures.

This year my sister-in law made Mother’s Day Brunch last weekend so I will share with you what I made. A Caramel Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache, was the star of the show but I also made my favorite coconut cake with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting, and pumpkin coffee cake. I took the little bits of leftover chocolate ganache, coconut frosting, and caramel and placed them in cups with knives. I placed these cups in the center of a platter filled with individual chocolate brownies and let everyone have the joy of doing their own schmeering! Enjoy Mother’s DayPineapple Curd and Coconut Pineapple cake 049-2

blackberry and cheesecake 013Caramel Cheesecake With Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache
When I think to make one of something, I make two , when I mean to buy one I buy two, one is such a lonely number, there must be a name for this pleasant mental disorder of being overly stocked, overly prepared, overly generous, overly… As you can probably guess, the other day when I made the chocolate orange cheesecake I also baked a new Caramel Cheesecake.

I had this vision of injecting cheesecake with salted caramel with a long tip for injecting jelly in doughnuts and then, piping chocolate, salted caramel, ganache rosettes on top for decoration.

Serves at least 16

One cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 and 1/ 3cup sugar
1/ 2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Ganache:
12 ounces dark chocolate broken up into small pieces or chopped, 72%
1/ 2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
Large pinch sea salt

2 and 1/ 2 cups coarsely ground pecans
5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

48 ounce (5 eight ounce packages) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 and 2/3 cup sugar
1/ 4 cup brown sugar
5 extra large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups sour cream
1/ 4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start by making caramel. To make caramel, place butter and cream in a small saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring cream to simmer and butter will melt, do not boil. Turn heat off and set aside.

In another larger deep heavy bottom saucepan, heat sugar on medium heat. Let sugar slowly dissolve without stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit now and then. Momentarily, the edges of the melted sugar will start to turn gold. Watch mix very closely. Melted sugar syrup will turn rich gold caramel color.

When syrup is all amber caramel color, turn off heat, immediately add warm butter -cream blend. Mixture will foam up, stir it down with a wooden spoon and add salt. Set caramel aside. This can be refrigerated for up to a week.

For salted caramel ganache; break up or chop chocolate and place in a large bowl. Heat butter and cream in a small sauce pan over low heat until butter is completely melted and cream is hot. Do not boil. In a deep larger sauce pot, heat sugar as for caramel until amber color. Add butter and cream mix and it will foam as before, Whisk until smooth caramel as before and add salt. Pour hot caramel mixture through a sieve over chocolate. Whisk chocolate and strained caramel, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set ganache aside. Ganache thickens as it cools, give it a stir occasionally. This can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Heat oven to 350° F. Make cheesecake crust. Place ground pecans and melted butter in bottom of a 9 or 10 inch round or square spring form pan. Mix nuts and butter with your fingertips and then, push moist nuts down to evenly cover bottom. Set aside.

Now, make cheesecake batter. In bowl of stand or handheld mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugars, beat until combined and then, add eggs. Lastly, add lemon juice and vanilla. Blend until smooth and well combined. Spoon batter into prepared crust. Set filled spring form pan on rimmed baking sheet to catch any dripping that may ooze out during baking.

Bake cheesecake for 45 to 50 minutes until poofed in the middle and golden. Cake should not appear to be liquid in center; it should appear to be set. Remove cheesecake from oven and set aside for 15 minutes. In the meantime, raise oven temperature to 400° F. Mix topping ingredients until blended with a spoon. After 15 minutes, spread sour cream topping to within 1/ 2 inch of the edge of cheesecake.

Return cheesecake to hot oven for 5 minutes to set topping. Remove cake from oven and cool. Refrigerate for overnight or up to 3 days so cheesecake will settle. Remove cake from refrigerator. Remove the ring of the cheesecake pan by first going around the perimeter with a sharp knife to loosen from pan and then undo lock. Remove side ring.

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with jelly injection tip, with one cup of caramel. Inject top of cheesecake every two inches with caramel until some caramel pools on top of cake. Drizzle additional caramel over top of cake.
Partially fill another disposable pastry bag, fitted with a large star or plain tip, with chocolate ganache or just a spoon to make rosettes or spoonfuls of chocolate ganache around top of cheesecake. Refrigerate cheesecake for up to 3 days, until you are ready to serve it. When serving cheesecake, garnish plates with another spoonful or dollop of chocolate ganache or caramel.blackberry and cheesecake 014


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