If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you probably saw all the mouthwatering baking we were doing last week in preparation for National Cheesecake Day! One of the prettiest ones (and equally delicious, this one has both looks and personality) was this s’mores cheesecake. We actually developed the s’mores cheesecake a year ago for our first big cheesecake party and have revisited it for a few special occasions (including my big 30th birthday), but we kept eating it instead of taking pictures. My apologies for the gluttony that forced us to hold out on you for so long.
This cheesecake is a crowd pleaser. Beloved by both children and adults. It features a classic graham cracker crust, chocolate caramel cheesecake, and a toasted marshmallow meringue on top. The cake can be frozen ahead of time, but the meringue should be made as close to serving as possible.
- 1 1/2 cups Graham Crackers Finely ground
- 5 TBSP butter melted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup Sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 packages cream cheese (24 oz)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grind the graham crackers in a food processor until fine. Add sugar, melted butter, and salt and pulse until mixed. Press into the bottom of a springform pan. Wrap the pan in tinfoil (I double wrap mine) and set in a rimmed baking sheet.
- Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork, until melted and pale golden. Continue to cook until deep golden. Remove from heat and carefully add heavy cream (mixture will vigorously steam and lumps may form, this is okay). Return to moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel lumps are dissolved. This may take a few minutes, but it will happen. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until smooth. Stir in sour cream.
- Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
- Pour filling into crust and place in the middle of the oven. Fill a large pyrex with water and pour it gently into the rimmed baking sheet until water goes at least an inch up the side of the foiled springform. Bake 50 - 60 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Turn off oven and prop door open until the cake and oven come down to room temperature.
- Remove cake from oven and run a knife around the edge. Chill and then gently remove springform sides. Continue chilling or freeze until ready to eat.
- Place the egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. (I just use the mixing bowl that goes to my electric mixer.) Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, about three minutes. Pull off the stove and beat (I use the whisk attachment on my mixer) starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4-7 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- Put the meringue in a piping bag with a large tip or in a large plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Create big dollops on the top of the cheesecake. Remove your children from the vicinity and brown the dollops with a kitchen torch. Top with crushed graham crackers, if desired.