Thursday, February 12, 2009

Super American Cheesecake

In Spain I would always use ingredients like lemons, rose water, coffee, chocolate, vanilla beans or other ‘natural’ ingredients like that. So it was kind of a relief and a celebration of all things American and processed to make a deliciously rich and unnatural (in a good way) cheesecake. I went straight to the candy aisle, because what isn’t made better with the addition of candy? I site chocolate chip cookies with broken up Andes mints; it definitely gives them that extra something.

I have a weak spot for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I think many people do, except those unfortunate enough to be allergic to peanuts. But I went straight for these after little deliberation. I’m sure in the future there will be many more variations of my candy cheesecake (I’m seeing Twix and M&M’s, perhaps Junior Mints too). But Reese’s are not where my Americanized version ends. I needed more processed sugar. A topping of some sort, so then I headed to the ice cream aisle, because we all know that’s where you get your gooey, melty junk food. I would suggest butterscotch or caramel, and I found one that was a mixture of both (I’m not really sure what it contained, probably large amounts of sugar and corn syrup).

There’s not much else to this cheesecake, the natural goodness of the products pretty much do all the work for you.

Super American Cheesecake

½ c butter (125 g)
1.5 box graham crackers (I just use regular Honey Maid)
pinch of salt

Crush cookies any way you can (beat them in a plastic bag, pulse them in a food processor), melt butter, and mix the two together with salt, then press on the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan. Bake at 170C/340F oven for 10 minutes.

1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups (not sure how many are in there, or how many ounces it is)
1 jar butterscotch/caramel sauce
24 oz cream cheese
½ - ¾ c sugar
3 eggs

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature. While the crust is baking, slice each Reese’s into quarters. When you take the crust out, scatter them over the crust and they will slightly melt onto it. Reserve about ¼ cream cheese for the topping. With remaining cream cheese, beat in the sugar and eggs, with a pinch of salt. Pour this over the crust and Reese’s, and bake at 350F/180C for about 30 minutes, until top is set but the cake still wobbles. Heat up the jar of butterscotch sauce and mix well with the cream cheese you’ve saved. When it’s well incorporated, pour slowly over the top of the cheesecake, around the edges (not all straight in the center, it’s more likely to go straight through the bottom layer if you do that). And make sure and cover the whole surface. Put back into the oven for another 10-20 minutes, until the top layer is set. Fair warning: this stuff is sticky, and probably will slightly caramelize to the edge of your springform pan. But it’s all worth it in the end, and you’ll truly appreciate how good it is to be in the land of plenty.