I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Laurie for starting this amazing group. As she already knows, this is my weekly therapy session and I don't know where I would be without it! Thank you so much to all of you who come here each week and leave comments. There really aren't words to express how much it means to me. I hope that the coming year is a joyful, peaceful and prosperous one for all of you! I also want to thank Dorie for such an amazing book with such a wonderful array of not only recipes, but stories and insight and ideas that a group like this can be formed around. At our house, this is the go-to book for all ideas and is commonly referred to as The Big Baking Book by my five year old, who loves to flip through the pages and tell me things we should make. I know that this book will be an heirloom and well loved and used for years to come.
After last week's butterscotch excursion I just couldn't seem to let go of that brown sugar depth of flavor - not that I ever do anyway - but as I was making the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake, chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry I decided I had to play around with the flavor a bit. I knew that this cheesecake recipe was going to be good, but when I served it to our friends on Christmas Day the immediate WOW from all at the table was a nice gift to get.
To play with the flavors of the cheesecake I made the following changes and additions.
First, I made 1 1/2 times the crust amount because I really love a lot of crust. I didn't want to go overboard and double the recipe, but I did want a bit extra that originally called for - that is just preference though.
The major change I made to the recipe was to divide out, at the very beginning, 1/3 cup each of the sugar and cream portions of the cheesecake. I substituted dark brown sugar for that 1/3 cup portion and combined the cream and brown sugar in a small sauce pan and let it boil, then simmer together until nice and golden, thick and syrupy to make a kind of toffee syrup. I set this aside to cool completely before moving on to the rest of the cheesecake. From there, I just followed the regular directions, up until the point of adding in the vanilla, at which point I also drizzled in the toffee syrup. I used sour cream for the remaining portion of cream or sour cream in the recipe.
I really love the creamy, golden color that the toffee flavor added to this cheesecake. I also made Peabody's toffee sauce and added some pecans to it to spoon over the top of the cheesecake. All I can say was that I think I could drink that toffee sauce for breakfast, lunch and dinner (did I mention I used to just eat straight brown sugar from the bag when I was little? Yeah. It is an obsession).
This cheesecake was by far THE BEST CHEESECAKE we have ever had. Not only the texture, but the flavor and ease of making the recipe, now put this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe in the running as my favorite recipe so far. I am still a chocoholic at heart, so the Gooey Chocolate Cake hasn't quite been unseated yet, but this cheesecake comes very close.
Make sure to head on over to see all the other amazing creations put together by my Tuesdays with Dorie friends.