Are you a cheesecake fan? Even if you aren’t, you will love this one, I promise. I promise, because I am not a big cheesecake fan myself (yeah, I know), but I devoured this one. Actually, we had this beauty for Christmas because it was THAT good. And if I make a cheesecake for Christmas even though I am not a big fan of cheesecakes, it does tell you something about this cake. Seriously, it is awesome! I bake a lot, but I have never had so many people react to a cake that strongly in a long time.
You would like to know what this cheesecake consists of? The crust is ginger cookies (also known as speculaas, speculoos or Spekulatius) and melted butter. Obviously, you can use graham crackers or any other plain cookie. The one with speculaas is more Christmassy.
On top of the crust you pile apples which were simmered in some sugar and cinnamon, then you pour some caramel on them and then you have your cheesecake. The last layer consists of whipping cream/sour cream, which is drizzled with caramel. Yes, this is a rich, decadent cake, but as stated, if you make it, make the whole deal, don’t omit the apples, the caramel or the last layer of whipping cream and sour cream.
I found this recipe on the German blog Malus Köstlichkeiten. If you like to make a bit more complicated cakes, I can highly recommend her blog, she has a wealth of recipes. But now let’s get back to this cheesecake and bake this miracle!
Credit: Malus Köstlichkeiten (in German)
Cheesecake with Caramel and Apples
- Caramel Sauce
- 160 grams of icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 80 grams of butter
- 200 millilitres of heavy cream
- Cookie Crust
- 300 grams of speculaas (ginger cookies), alternatively graham crackers
- 100 grams of melted butter
- Apple Sauce
- 500-600 grams of sliced apples (I used about four very large ones)
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of regular sugar
- Optional: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and cloves
- 600 grams of cream cheese (if making the plain version, increase to 800 grams)
- 200 grams of ricotta (if making the plain version, increase to 300 grams)
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
- 90 grams of regular sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- Scrapes of one full vanilla bean
- 2 eggs, size L
- Topping (omit if making the plain version)
- 100 grams of heavy cream
- 100 grams of sour cream
- 20 gr regular sugar
- Caramel as prepared above
For the caramel sauce place sugar and water into a deep frying pan and heat on medium-low heat. Patiently wait until the sugar melts and turns brown. Don’t put heat too high.
Once it’s amber color, add the butter. Be careful as it will be bubbly. Stir until all the butter is melted.
Add the cream and again be careful as it will be bubbly. Let cook for about 30 seconds, then take off stove and let cool. Pour into a sterilized glass and keep at room temperature until ready for use.
For the cookie crust crush the cookies either in a food processor or in a sealed zip-log bag with a rolling pin and pour melted butter on top.
Pat mix into a springform, which has the bottom part covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about ten minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile prepare the apples by peeling them and cutting into slices.
Add lemon juice and sugar and simmer for about five minutes or until lightly soft.
Pour the apple mix on top of the cookie crust leaving an edge all around and pour about 4-6 tablespoons of caramel sauce on top.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Place a container with water on the bottom of the oven.
For the cheesecake cream the cream cheese and ricotta, then add cream, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, be sure to use a whisk and don’t overmix, just until combined.
Pour batter into sprinform and bake for about 55 minutes.
Open oven door and let sit for at least half an hour in the oven, then let cool off to room temperature. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
For the topping beat cream until stiff, fold in sour cream and cocoa and cinnamon if making it Christmassy.
Spread as last layer on cake. Then pour caramel on top and make a pattern with a knife.
Take out the cake of the springform after having chilled for a little one more time. Enjoy!
PS: This is the Christmas version I made. The last layer is with whipping cream spiced with cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa plus a little more caramel for good measure.