Salted Caramel Cheesecake is one of those universal flavors that most people like. You’ll hear of people not liking nuts, coconut, fruits, and even chocolate…but who doesn’t like caramel?! I’m sure there are some people out there who aren’t big fans, but it’s incredibly rare. Now that I think about it, I personally can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like caramel!
The light sprinkle of sea salt is the perfect addition to this New York style cheesecake that’s topped with homemade caramel sauce.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
For the Crust
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup cornstarch
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup heavy cream
For the Topping
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Double-wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, place inside a 12 inch cake pan. Place graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small mixing bowl, toss together. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Rub butter all along the bottom of the springform pan, then press graham cracker mixture evenly along the bottom. Place pans in the oven to bake for 7 minutes, remove pans from oven and set aside.
In a standing mixer (or mixing bowl and using electric mixer), add 8 oz. cream cheese, cornstarch, and 2/3 cup sugar. Beat at medium speed with the paddle attachment until mixture is smooth. Add another 8 oz. cream cheese, along with 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until smooth. Add remaining cream cheese and granulated sugar, one at a time, until smooth. Slow mixer to stirring speed, add vanilla and one egg at a time, scraping down the sides. Turn on to stirring speed and slowly add heavy cream, beat just until mixed in (do not overmix). Spoon batter into springform pan on top of graham cracker crust and spread into an even layer.
Pour warm water into the larger cake pan, creating a water bath (this prevents cracks). The water should come up at least 1 inch around the springform pan. Carefully place pans in oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Remove pans from oven, pull the springform pan out of the larger pan and place on a cooling rack for about 4 hours to cool completely. Remove aluminum foil from around pan.
Cover springform pan with plastic wrap and place in freezer to set for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Remove plastic wrap from springform pan, release and remove sides of springform. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of cheesecake, turn upside down onto a flat surface. Carefully remove bottom of pan, turn back over onto a serving plate.
In a small saucepan, combine corn syrup and sugar. Cook on medium heat, until it turns into an amber color. Remove from heat, stir in butter until melted. Slowly add heavy cream and vanilla, stirring constantly. Transfer to heatproof container to cool before spreading into an even layer on cheesecake. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, return to freezer for caramel layer to set.
Cut into slices with a sharp, straight edged knife, wiping knife between each cut. Store cheesecake in refrigerator until ready to serve for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.