Salted Caramel Flan Cheesecake
- 1 cup whole skinned almonds (toasted)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
- 3 8-oz packages cream cheese (room temperature)
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (divided)
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 5 large egg yolks (room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (warmed to at least 100 degrees F)
Toasted Almond Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, grind the almonds, sugar, and salt. Process until the mixture becomes moist and crumbly.
- Add the melted butter and process again until thoroughly combined.
- Grease the pan(s). Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan(s).
- To set the crust, bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl to prevent lumps from forming.
- Add half of the sweetened condensed milk to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl and continue beating on low speed for 1 minute more, until the mixture is smooth and creamy and free of lumps. Repeat this step with the remaining sweetened condensed milk.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low. Slowly add first the whole egg and then the egg yolks to the bowl, one at a time. After adding each, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue beating on low speed for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Add the vanilla to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until the vanilla is jus incorporated into the mixture. The mixture should be well blended , but not over-beaten.
- In a heavy 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, water, and salt. Stir with a spatula and cook for 1 minute, until the salt is dissolved and the corn syrup has melted.
- Sprinkle the sugar into the saucepan, taking care to cover the bottom of the saucepan as evenly as possible. Do NOT stir. Cook, using a pastry brush dipped in water to lightly wash down the sides of the pot, for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture begins to caramelize. (Brushing the sides of the pan prevents the formation of sugar crystals.)
- Once the mixture becomes a light amber color, immediately remove from the heat and add the warmed heavy cream to the saucepan. Stir with a heatproof rubber spatula scraping the sides and bottom of the pot and making sure to fully incorporate the cream into the caramel, until the mixture is fully combined.
Note: Be careful at this stage, as the caramel is extremely hot and the cream will bubble up and release very hot steam.
- Transfer the caramel to a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature for 30 minutes; the caramel will thicken as it cools.
Cheesecake overall Instructions
- Prepare the Toasted Almond Crust in a 9-inch springform pan. Follow the recipe as directed.
- Prepare the Flan bater. Follow the recipe as directed.
- Preheat the oven to 280 degrees F. Generously grease and flour the springform pan. Fill the springform pan with the Flan batter and place it on a baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven, directly on the middle shelf. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is slightly firm to the touch and jiggles in the center (this is a shallow cake so it shouldn’t soufflé much.) If a the end of the baking time, the cake is starting to soufflé but still has a loose center, reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour to cool the cake completely.
- Loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan by sliding an offset spatula around the inside ring. Remove the springform pan from the cake and transfer to a plate. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before decorating.
- Prepare the Salted Caramel. Set aside while still warm, but not hot.
- Pour the Salted Caramel on the center of the cake. Using the back of a wooden spoon or a silicone offset spatual, spread the caramel evenly over the top of the cake, being careful to to spread over the cake’s edge.
- While the caramel is still warm, press the toasted almonds into it. Work quickly! As caramel cools, it becomes less sticky and decorations do not adhere as well. Sprinkle with the sea salt crystals.
- Transfer to the freezer for 2-3 hours before slicing.
- Slice the cake with a thin, non-serrated knife that is dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each slice. Serve immediately or store in the freezer well wrapped for up to 3 months.
Eli’s Trading Secret: Toasting the almonds in this recipe at a low temperature for a long time produces a deeper, richer flavor.
This incredible cheesecake recipe might seem a bit complicated but in the end – totally worth it! Be sure to read over all the instructions before you begin. For those used to making cheesecakes you’ll see the procedure is a bit out of the ordinary which is what makes Eli’s Cheesecakes so special.