Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake with Caramel Shots

Friday was National Cheesecake Day! This calls for a sinful and chocolatey celebration of caloric sort. I’ve been wanting to try chocolate explosion cheesecake from the Paula Deen’s Chocolate Celebration 2008 Special Issue, pretty much since I bought the magazine. Knowing that 30 July is “the big day” I decided to finally try it. And based on my “test kitchen” reviews (a.k.a. shared  it at work and with family), it was a hit!

To prepare crust: Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter, stirring to combine. Press crust into bottom and up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes; let cool.

To prepare chocolate layer: In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and butter and melt over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in sugar, eggs (at room temperature)  and flour until just combined. Pour into bottom of cooled crust; bake for 15 minutes; let cool.

To prepare cheesecake layer: Spread caramel topping evenly over chocolate (leave about an inch from the side of the pan or the caramel edges will become hard). Cut cookie dough crosswise into 1-inch slices. Place slices in an even layer over caramel, pressing gently together to seal edges.

What? No way, I was NOT drinking this amazing caramel from a shot glass. I don’t know whose that is…

 It’s my friend Caitlin’s fault for introducing me to this amazing “sauce” from her Better Than Sex Cake recipe. {She’s an enabler.}

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese (at room temperature) and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs (room temperature), one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and flour just until combined. Stir in sour cream. Pour over cookie dough layer and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around edges to release crust from sides of pan. Let cool completely.

To prepare chocolate ganache: In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and whipping cream, melt over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Spread over cooled cheesecake. (I prefer to decorate the cheesecake with the ganache so I put it in my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator and pipe the ganache on the cheesecake. I also couldn’t resist drizzling more of the gooey caramel on top. You may also find me serving each slice with a shot of caramel. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

Caramel & Chocolate

Love caramel and chocolate but don’t have time to make cheesecake today? Bake a pan of Yes! Yes! Caramel Chocolate Brownies instead.

I’ve baking them since 1990.

You will definately want to pair this with a cup of hot coffee or an ice-cold glass of milk. Do you like rich chocolatey cheesecake or do you prefer the lighter vanilla cheesecake with fruit topping?

Sweet wishes,

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Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake

Staci Mergenthal at Random Sweets
I've never made a Paula Deed recipe I don't love. This cheesecake is no exception. Its richness comes from the cheesecake, layer of chocolate, caramel and chocolate chip cookie dough.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 1 9-inch springform pan

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • cup sugar
  • cup unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Layer

  • 6 oz semisweet baking chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, large, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Caramel Layer

  • ½ cup caramel ice cream topping

Cookie Dough Layer

  • 16.5 oz refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, softened to room temperature

Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, large, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature

Chocolate Ganache

  • 3 oz semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Heat oven to 300°F. Lightly spray 9-inch springform pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter, stirring to combine. (I use a food processor.)
  • Press crust into bottom and up sides of springform pan. Bake 6 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Layer

  • In medium saucepan, combine chocolate and butter and melt over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Whisk in sugar, eggs and flour until just combined.
  • Pour into bottom of crust. Bake 15 minutes. Cool.

Caramel Layer

  • Spread caramel topping evenly over chocolate (leave about an inch from the side of the pan or the caramel edges will become hard).

Cookie Dough Layer

  • Cut cookie dough crosswise into 1-inch slices. Place slices in an even layer over caramel, pressing gently together to seal edges.

Cheesecake Filling

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and flour just until combined. Stir in sour cream.
  • Pour over cookie dough layer and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around edges to release crust from sides of pan. Let cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache

  • In small saucepan, combine chocolate and whipping cream, melt over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Spread over cooled cheesecake or pipe on cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. If you have some left, drizzle caramel on top.
Keyword cheesecake, chocolate, chocolate and caramel, cookie dough

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

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35 Comments

  1. Hi,this looks so delicious, I wondered can you use a cake pan or some other type of pan, instead of the spring form pan. Thanks Beth

    1. Hi Beth – yes, you could certainly use a different pan. The difference is that you will cut the cheesecake more like bars than traditional triangles of cheesecake because you won’t be able to remove the rim around it or the bottom. You can use a cake pan, like a 13×9, or a 9×9 or larger square pan. If you have a 9-inch round cake pan, that would work as well. The bake time should be about the same – just make sure the edges look done but the center is slightly jiggly. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks! Staci

    1. Lisa – you can simply use vanilla extract or real vanilla bean in place of vanilla paste. What’s great about using paste is the intense vanilla flavor and the tiny vanilla bean speckles. But what I use the most, and hate to be without, is Vanilla Bean Crush that I buy from King Arthur Flour online. It is full of vanilla speckles. Here’s a link to check it out. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/vanilla-bean-crush-8-oz I’ve lucked out and found vanilla bean paste at TJMaxx and HomeGoods sometimes too. Happy baking!

  2. Question for you Staci…do you leave your cheesecake on the base of the springform or do you take it off? I’ve heard of people taking them off that base but I can’t imagine how to get it off without destroying the cake. I just hate how it slides around when I’m cutting it.

    1. I do not leave the cheesecake on the base of the springform. I take a clean dish cloth and get it wet. I ring it out lightly and then i put it in the microwave to get it almost too hot to touch. When it’s nice and steamy, I lay it out flat on the counter and then set the springform on top of it. Sometimes I do this twice, depending on how easily the cheesecake will come off the pan. Some drier crusts will slide right off but some that I make, like with a brownie crust, need a little more heat. I use my long spreader to slide underneath the cheesecake and help it off the pan. http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=16759&words=spreader This method works every single time. ;+)

  3. I’m supposed to make a cheesecake for Thanksgiving and it just might be this one. YUMMY! This looks delicious.

  4. Yay! For Mrs. Richardson’s!!! It truly is the most amazing caramel sauce in the entire world. Buttery, rich and velvety–smuckers can’t even compete with this stuff!

    And as far as fruit for desert. Yeah. Right. 🙂

    1. Obviously YOU are the Caitlin I was talking about in the post!!!! You started me on this sauce. Now, since I mentioned your Better Than Sex Cake, someone asked me about it. I’ll do a blog post for it–but wish you were here to make it with me. Maybe you could give me the background on where the recipe came from and what memories you have of it and then I can share with everyone???

  5. The next time I make a cheesecake, this is what I am making! It looks so good! Congratulations on having the winning photo on facebook. I am now a fan of your blog as well.

    1. Thank you for the kind congratulations, Brenda. I’m so glad you are going to make this cheesecake! I waited far too long to try this one as everyone who tried it really like it. I’m also excited that you subscribed to my blog. Let me know how you like this cheesecake when you make it.

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