2 Tbs unsalted butter, preferably European style (like Plugra)
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or fine sea salt, plus extra for topping
Whipped cream (optional)
To Make the Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a standard cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Combine graham cracker crust ingredients in a bowl and mix until graham cracker crumbs are moist and mixed.
Portion 2 tablespoons of the graham cracker mixture into each cupcake liner, and press down to flatten and even out the graham cracker bases. Bake for 5-6 minutes and let cool. The graham cracker crust should not be browned at this point- just lightly baked so it doesn’t absorb as much moisture from the cheesecake.
To Make the Cheesecake Filling
Combine the cream cheese and sour cream in a medium bowl and mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until completely smooth.
Add egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Don’t mix on high speed as we don’t want to incorporate too much air.
Next, whip egg whites to stiff peaks, and gently fold the whites into the cheesecake mixture.
Pour cheesecake filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, or use large freezer bag and cut off the corner.
Fill the cupcake liners with cheesecake filling until 3/4 full. You can fill the liners a little closer to the top, just don’t fill to the very rim because the cheesecake puffs up a bit during baking.
Next, boil 6-7 cups of water. Then place the cupcake pan on a rimmed half sheet pan and put it in the oven, and pour the boiling water into the half sheet pan until it comes half way up the sides of each cupcake well.
The water bath helps the cheesecake to cook evenly so that the inside and outside of the cheesecake cooks evenly.
Close the oven and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until centers are just barely jiggly.
Remove cupcake pan from half sheet, let cool for 1 hour at room temperature, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
To Make the Caramel Sauce
In a large, heavy bottom sauce pan, heat the sugar on medium-low to medium heat. Do not stir too often, but instead let the sugar begin to melt. Once it begins to melt, stir occasionally.
To prevent any sugar crystals from staying on the side of the pan, dip a pastry brush in water and wash down the sides of the pan where any sugar crystals are hanging on.
If any of the sugar crystals make it into the caramel after the caramel is made, then it can cause the caramel to become grainy and unpleasant!
Stir caramel more often as it melts, and add the butter once the caramel is the color of a brown paper bag. The darker the caramel color, the richer the flavor, so you can decide just how light or intense you want the flavor to be by the color of the caramel.
Next, add the salt and the heavy cream, whisking rapidly as the cream goes into the caramel.
Strain the caramel just in case there are any seized caramel bits that won’t melt down. Place in the fridge to cool caramel.
To Assemble the Mini Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel
Remove cheesecake and caramel from the fridge. Warm the caramel in the microwave for 20-30 if it is stiff, which it will be if the caramel has been in the fridge for a few hours.
Top the cheesecakes with as much caramel as you desire, extra fleur de sel(optional), and whipped cream(also optional). These mini cheesecakes don’t need the whipped cream to be delicious, so it’s just a matter of preference. For a more intense caramel and cheesecake flavor, leave the whipped cream off.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe
Keywords: mini cheesecakes with salted caramel, salted caramel, graham cracker crust