With origins in ancient Greece, cheesecake came to the US with the first European settlers. It evolved after 1872, when cream cheese was accidentally made by a man attempting to replicate the soft French cheese, Neufchatel. New York-style cheesecake then rose to prominence in the late 1920s using the spreadable cream cheese. This cheesecake, using caramel, chocolate, and nuts, is named after Turtles, a confection developed in the United States by Johnson's Candy Company in 1918, so named because the shape of the treat resembles a turtle. In the first decades of the 20th century, “turtle” confections became popular around the country with the ingredients easily adapted to other desserts, like this turtle cake.
Recipe Servings: 10
+ 6 hours resting
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
- 5 Tbsp butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup caramel-flavored coffee creamer
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl until well combined.
- Wrap the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with two layers of aluminum foil.
- Press the crumb-butter mixture into the pan evenly.
- Bake for 8–10 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool to room temperature before adding the cheesecake mixture.
- Reduce oven heat to 325°F.
- Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl for 2–3 minutes, until smooth.
- Beat in the sugar and vanilla.
- Add the creamer, beating to combine.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each.
- Beat the mixture for an additional 1 minute before pouring it over the crust in the springform pan.
- Place the springform pan inside a 9 x 13-inch cake pan, and carefully fill the cake pan with water to about 1 inch below the top of the tin foil on the springform pan.
- Place the cake pan with springform pan inside the oven and bake 60 minutes, until the edges are set but 2–3 inches around the center remains wobbly.
- Let cool to room temperature in the oven with the door ajar.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
- Heat sugar and butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture begins to bubble, continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl.
- Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips.
- Let the chocolate melt for 1–2 minutes before mixing to combine.
- Cool for 10–15 minutes.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cheesecake and spread with a spatula.
- Top with pecans and drizzle caramel over top.
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