I am not a big fan of plain cheesecake, but my family loves it. So I often find myself making interestingly flavored cheesecakes so that I can eat some too. Pumpkin cheesecake is one of my faves to make, and usually I layer it, but this time I decided to incorporate the pumpkin all the way through and top it off with a salted caramel sauce. So good. Since I usually use a chocolate crust when making my pumpkin pie, I thought it would be a good idea to use it here also. I was right. Instead of making a large cake and cutting it up, I used cupcake pans to make individual cakes. I lined the pans with cupcake liners for easy removal, then took them off before plating and drizzling with caramel. For the cream cheese, I used cream cheese premixed with Greek yogurt. I also used farm fresh eggs (laid Friday!), so I can't give you a size, large or extra large will be fine. The caramel sauce is also really yummy on top of vanilla ice cream. Mmm, caramel...
For the caramel sauce, I took inspiration from Nigella Lawson's Salted Caramel Sauce (click here for her recipe). I made subtle changes, but you are welcome to try hers instead. I used maple syrup, but you can sub molasses or agave for the HFCS in Nigella's recipe, which I would not recommend anyone uses, ever. It is a completely unnecessary sweetener which is really, really bad for your health.
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup golden sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup 35% whipping cream
3/4 tsp fleur de sel
1) Melt butter, syrup and sugars over medium heat, stirring to fully incorporate. Let simmer about 5-7 minutes, stirring every minute or so with a wire whisk.
2) Add cream and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir and taste for saltiness (careful! it's hot). Add more salt as necessary to your palate.
3) Let it cook for another couple of minutes, then remove from heat and let cool in fridge for about a half hour.
This sauce is best cooled. You can serve it warm, but it will be very liquidy. After cooling, it gets a nice caramelly consistency. Yup - I just made up two words. Enjoy!
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