TWD: Tall & Creamy Toffee Cheesecake

by Holly on December 30, 2008


I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Laurie for starting this amazing group. As she already knows, this is my weekly therapy session and I don’t know where I would be without it! Thank you so much to all of you who come here each week and leave comments. There really aren’t words to express how much it means to me. I hope that the coming year is a joyful, peaceful and prosperous one for all of you! I also want to thank Dorie for such an amazing book with such a wonderful array of not only recipes, but stories and insight and ideas that a group like this can be formed around. At our house, this is the go-to book for all ideas and is commonly referred to as The Big Baking Book by my five year old, who loves to flip through the pages and tell me things we should make. I know that this book will be an heirloom and well loved and used for years to come.

After last week’s butterscotch excursion I just couldn’t seem to let go of that brown sugar depth of flavor – not that I ever do anyway – but as I was making the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake, chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry I decided I had to play around with the flavor a bit. I knew that this cheesecake recipe was going to be good, but when I served it to our friends on Christmas Day the immediate WOW from all at the table was a nice gift to get.

To play with the flavors of the cheesecake I made the following changes and additions.

First, I made 1 1/2 times the crust amount because I really love a lot of crust. I didn’t want to go overboard and double the recipe, but I did want a bit extra that originally called for – that is just preference though.

The major change I made to the recipe was to divide out, at the very beginning, 1/3 cup each of the sugar and cream portions of the cheesecake. I substituted dark brown sugar for that 1/3 cup portion and combined the cream and brown sugar in a small sauce pan and let it boil, then simmer together until nice and golden, thick and syrupy to make a kind of toffee syrup. I set this aside to cool completely before moving on to the rest of the cheesecake. From there, I just followed the regular directions, up until the point of adding in the vanilla, at which point I also drizzled in the toffee syrup. I used sour cream for the remaining portion of cream or sour cream in the recipe.


I really love the creamy, golden color that the toffee flavor added to this cheesecake. I also made Peabody’s toffee sauce and added some pecans to it to spoon over the top of the cheesecake. All I can say was that I think I could drink that toffee sauce for breakfast, lunch and dinner (did I mention I used to just eat straight brown sugar from the bag when I was little? Yeah. It is an obsession).

This cheesecake was by far THE BEST CHEESECAKE we have ever had. Not only the texture, but the flavor and ease of making the recipe, now put this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe in the running as my favorite recipe so far. I am still a chocoholic at heart, so the Gooey Chocolate Cake hasn’t quite been unseated yet, but this cheesecake comes very close.

Make sure to head on over to see all the other amazing creations put together by my Tuesdays with Dorie friends.


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Engineer Baker December 30, 2008 at 7:06 am

Oh wow. Pecan toffee cheesecake – there are no words to describe the awesomeness. Now I totally have to make it again 🙂

Marthe December 30, 2008 at 8:32 am

Toffee Cheesecake…. sounds like a great combo!! Yum….

Cristine December 30, 2008 at 10:02 am

What a great combination!!! I loved this cheesecake, too! Yours looks and sounds fantastic!

LyB December 30, 2008 at 12:45 pm

That is a beauty, Holly! I love the look with the toffee sauce and the pecans, what a show stopper.

chocolatechic December 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

It truly is the best cheesecake I have ever tasted.

I love toffee in my cheesecake.

ostwestwind December 30, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Gread looking cheesecake.

Best wishes for 2009!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Lady Baker December 30, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I just found your blog–thanks for posting on mine! Wow–you really went above and beyond the call here–this looks so amazing! The pecan topping..the toffee…it’s a work of art for sure! 🙂

Gretchen Noelle December 30, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Looks terrific Holly! After the butterscotch, I was considering making a Butterscotch Cheesecake. Just can’t get that flavor out of my mind. Great job!

Anne December 30, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Wow Holly, that looks amazing! As for the brown sugar fixation… my husband still eats it straight out of the bag (seriously!) Hope you have a happy new year!

Peggy December 30, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Oh I’m LOVING the toffee – I can almost taste it through the blog. YUM. Yours is absolutely beautiful. Happy New Year!

Danielle December 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Toffee my favorite!! your cakes look great!

juju73 December 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Could you please send some through the monitor? *swoon*

What's for Supper? December 30, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I agree with you about this cookbook. It is amazing and probably the best baking cookbook I have ever seen!

Y December 30, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Toffee AND pecans! Yum!

steph- whisk/spoon December 30, 2008 at 10:31 pm

oh toffee sauce– yum, yum! i agree that this was so delicious!

Erin December 30, 2008 at 10:32 pm

It’s nice to see that other people love the crust as much as I do! The toffee sauce looks great too- it’s one of my favorite flavors!

Maria December 30, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Toffee! Oh my! I am loving your version!

Rachel December 30, 2008 at 11:13 pm

oh i LOVE toffee–this looks amazing!

rainbowbrown December 30, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Very nice changes! I used to sneak plain brown sugar myself. I’ll have to try the cheesecake your way next time.

cakeflower December 30, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Oh my gosh…I am so excited you commented on MY blog!!! I have you bookmarked!
Yes, my Twilight obsession…well the books are of course better than the movie..but you MUST go see it soon!
I could eat that sauce right of the computer!

Christine December 30, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Toffee Cheesecake oh Yum!!!

TeaLady December 30, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Holly – This looks absolutely DIVINE!!!!

Spike December 31, 2008 at 12:44 am

extra crust is always a good idea!

Leslie December 31, 2008 at 1:08 am

I love all of your tweaks, especially the toffee and extra crust (I made a little more than the recipe called for but not enough). I would eat almost anything with that toffee on it. Thanks for a blog that is a delightful place to visit and learn.

Jacque December 31, 2008 at 1:39 am

Ooooh, I’m all over that toffee/brown sugar combo. Love it! Your cheesecake sounds out of this world… I must try it.

Nice job!

Jess December 31, 2008 at 2:03 am

I MUST make this version. It looks and sounds incredible.

Glad you enjoyed your card and cocoa – and hope you have a wonderful 2009.

Pamela December 31, 2008 at 2:31 am

Oh. My. Goodness! It looks simply amazing!! I really thought this was a great cheesecake, but yours is really lovely.

Di December 31, 2008 at 2:41 am

Yum. I love the pecans on top. I once made a cheesecake with a brown sugar/pecan crust for a co-worker who couldn’t have gluten. The flavors are terrific with plain cheesecake. I can just imagine how great they must be with toffee cheesecake. =)

pinkstripes December 31, 2008 at 2:50 am

OMG. I am drooling over your cheesecake it sounds (and looks) soooo good.

Happy New Year!

Mary Ann December 31, 2008 at 2:50 am

I would like to watch you drink toffee sauce for breakfast! must be good. I really like the fact that you added more crust- great idea. That is my favorite part too!
Your cheesecake is divine!

n.o.e December 31, 2008 at 2:58 am

Great version of this wonderful dessert, Holly! I’m making notes. And the chocolate cookies that you link to in the post below – yipes! I don’t need any more sweets to bookmark!!

Natashya December 31, 2008 at 3:54 am

I love toffee, great choice for your beautiful cheesecake!

Peabody December 31, 2008 at 9:18 am

It looks fabulous and I am such a toffee girl so that makes it even better.
BTW chocolate lover go see my post this week for Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake Pots. Those were pretty killer.

Lynnylu December 31, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Very creative. I love the toffee and pecan topping.

Jamie December 31, 2008 at 1:20 pm

This looks amazing!! Wow! Toffee is such a great idea!

Have you written a post with tips for taking better food photos? I am in need of some help in that department! Your pictures are great. What type of camera do you have?

CB December 31, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Damn girl. Why can’t we be neighbors? I really want a piece of that gorgeous pecan toffee cheesecake right about now. drooooling
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Ari (Baking and Books) December 31, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Wow, that looks incredible. I want a slice!

Amy December 31, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Wow, Holly! This really looks amazing – so elegant and rich! Great job! I’m making another one of these for another party tomorrow and I might just have to try your wonderful ideas!


PheMom December 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm


You are seriously too sweet! My only tips are to take a lot more pictures than you need, so that you have a better chance of finding some you like when you get to see them on the computer. The natural light in my house stinks, so I have to use Picasa to pretty much always fix the lighting, which helps alot. Other than that I just have a little Canon PowerShot. I think the main things with that are that I use the lighting in the house and like I said, adjust the lighting on the computer with Picasa’s little “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature. I also always use the Macro setting and never use the flash on the camera.

For a lot better tips and information, Helen over at Tartlette just recently wrote a great post about taking great pictures. You can find that here.

I hope that helps!


Happy New Year!


Melissa December 31, 2008 at 7:01 pm

I love the idea of doubling the crust – that’s my favorite part too. Yours looks delicious!

kim December 31, 2008 at 8:53 pm

It looks sooo delicious, Holly!! And don’t worry, you are not alone in having eaten brown sugar straight from the bag 😉
Happy new year!

The Food Librarian January 1, 2009 at 2:06 am

What wonderful additions to the recipe. I can’t pick which one I love more – the toffee or the lotsa crust. I love crust too!!

Holly, wishing you and your wonderful family a great new year! – mary the food librarian

chriesi January 1, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Mmm delicious! Happy New Year!

Madam Chow January 2, 2009 at 2:44 am

This sounds fabulous, and I’m with you on this being the best cheesecake I’ve had (except for my grandmothers cottage cheese cheesecake, which has sentimental value, and fewer calories)!

Nancy January 2, 2009 at 3:45 am

Yummmmmm! Your picture of the cheesecake slice with the pecan topping is just so amazing! I don’t know what else to say!

Manggy January 3, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I love it when your recommendations glow! That means it’s ridiculously good!! Happy new year Holly!! 🙂

AmyRuth January 5, 2009 at 4:44 am

Just getting in line to say that your creation is amazing. Dorie should take notice. I have a cheesecake that used brown rather than granulated sugar and a carmel sauce drizzle. But yours sound even better with the mixture in the batter. I’ll have to give that a try. My youngest likes BS out of the bag as well. : ) Pretty photos too.
Happy 2009

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