Yes. Yes. and Yes. Yes. This is everything cheesecake was meant to be. I mean, I have made a lot of really amazing cheesecakes in my time (Not to brag or anything....), but this one. This one 'Takes the Cake' if I may. And that caramel on the top? Really. Oh.My.Word. That is my all-time favorite caramel recipe - Uh-Maze-ing. Ok I can't even talk about it. Let's just say it's so good I am making it for 2 thanksgiving dinners this year and I may insist on making it for Christmas as well. End of Story. Make this.
For the Crust
- 8 oz. chocolate graham crackers
- 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
- 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 Tbs. Baileys
- 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Caramel Click Here
- First preheat the oven to 375˚.
- You will be baking this in a water bath so it is imperative that you acquire the LARGE roll of tin foil. The small stuff does not work, no matter how many layer you put on the pan, it will leak. Trust me. Get the big the stuff.
- Then. Carefully line your 10" springform pan on the INSIDE of the pan, making it as flat as you can. Then line the outside as well. I know it’s a tad OCD but you do not want a wet cheesecake.
- Next, make the crust. Place the crackers in a food processor (or a gallon zip-top bag) and pulse until you have fine crumbs. If using a bag, beat it with a rolling pin or something until the crackers are crushed.
- Add the sugar and then the melted butter and pulse until coated.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until set, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling.
- Fill a tea kettle with water and set to boil (don’t worry, we won’t be making tea.)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high until creamed and there are no lumps, about a minute.
- Then add the sugar, salt, vanilla extract, sour cream and irish cream. Mix on medium until combined.
- Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time. Scraping the bowl in between additions. Do not over beat, this will assist in causing cracks in your cheesecake. Only beat until the egg is just combined before scraping and adding a new one.
- Pour into the cooled crust.
- Place the springform into a larger pan, I use my turkey roasting pan, and set in the oven. Then grab your kettle of boiling water and pour it into the roasting pan so it comes about ⅓ of the way up the side of the springform, be careful not to spill any into the cheesecake. Close up the oven and bake until just set, it will still be jiggly, about an hour (I am located at about 6000 ft. and have made similar recipes at over 7000 ft. and that’s about the time for altitude – if at sea level I would check your cake at about 40 minutes). Once you have determined it is finished baking – do NOT remove from the oven. The drastic temperature change will cause cracks. Simply turn the oven off and crack the door a bit. I usually leave it this way for about an hour.
- Once it has cooled a bit in the oven, remove it from the roasting pan and place on the counter to cool to room temperature. At least another hour, likely more.
- Once room temp. place in the fridge overnight to chill completely.
- At any time during the baking, cooling period of your cheesecake, get the caramel sauce made. It will need to cool completely before you can pour it on the cake so make sure to prepare it ahead of time. Click here for the recipe.
- Once the cheesecake has chilled completely and the caramel sauce has also cooled, pour the caramel on the top of the cheesecake and smooth with a knife. Then place it back in the fridge for about ½ hour to set the caramel on the top. My caramel had hardened more than I liked so when I went to pour it on I could tell it wasn’t going to spread easily so I microwaved it just a teensy bit to loosen it. Just be very careful if you do this not to get it warm, you will melt your cheesecake!
- Once the caramel is on, remove the outer layer of foil, then the ring from the pan and then very carefully peel down the foil from the sides. You may then carefully lift the cake off the bottom of the pan and separate it from the foil and place on a serving plate or pedestal.