1¼ cup crushed graham crackers
5 Tbsp butter, melted (sub ghee or vegan butter)
4 Tbsp granulated sugar (sub coconut sugar)
5 (8oz) blocks cream cheese, at room temperature (sub vegan cream cheese)
4 eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cup granulated sugar (sub coconut sugar)
½ cup sour cream (sub plain coconut yogurt)
2 tsp vanilla
Basic Caramel Sauce:
½ cup sugar (sub coconut sugar)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (sub ghee or vegan butter)
¼ cup heavy cream, at room temperature (sub almond milk)
¼ tsp cardamom (optional)
¼ tsp ginger (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350º. Combine the crushed graham crackers and melted butter until it looks like wet sand. Firmly press the mixture into a 9” springform pan. Bake the curst for 7 minutes then remove and set aside to cool. Reduce your oven to 325º.
In a stand mixer combine the cream cheese and mix on low until softened about 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer. Add the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix until just combined, not too long. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and using a whisk scramble them together. With the mixer on low add the scrambled eggs until just combined. Mix in any extra lumps using a spatula. Tap the bowl gently on the counter about 20 times to release any air bubbles. Carefully pour this mixture over your cooled crust in the springform pan. Do not force extra pieces stuck on the side of the bowl into the pan, just leave it. Tap the springform pan on the counter about 20 times to remove excess air bubbles (this is what causes the top to crack).
Bake at 325º for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 250º and cook for 45 more minutes. Once the timer goes off turn the oven off but keep the cheesecake in the oven baking for 30 minutes with the oven off before cracking the door with a spoon. Allow the cheesecake to cool for another 30 minutes to an hour inside the oven. I like my cheesecake room temperature, so I give it some time to hit the fridge or hang out a bit before serving. Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings.
Basic Caramel Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, warm the granulated sugar over medium heat and let it cook until it is golden brown. Add the butter and let it melt down while mixing it into the sugar. Add the heavy cream and stir until it is all mixed. Take this off the heat and pour into a small bowl. Slowly add the cardamom and ginger and mix together. Drizzle this on top of my cheesecake with my candied orange peels for a holiday spiced version of my cheesecake.
Recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest