Birthdays are a big deal at our home. Within the past week, we celebrated two - one for the Big Buy and one for our oldest son. Big Guy enjoys cheesecake so instead of a traditional birthday cake. So after his birthday dinner of Rock Fish stuffed with Leeks and Gorgonzola Cheese, Parmesan Cous Cous, and Salad, we topped his Turtle Swirl cheesecake with a candle and sang to him.
But don't wait for a birthday to make this easy and oh so delicious Turtle Swirl Cheesecake! Go ahead and make it! Turn an ordinary day into a celebration!
Turtle Swirl Cheesecake
-1 box fudge brownie mix (plus the ingredients) - make sure to use a smaller box size, the recipe calls for -19.8-21.5...I’ve found them to be too much for the cake)-4 (8oz) packages of cream cheese (softened)
-1 ½ C granulated sugar
-1 t vanilla
-3 T whipping cream (I used skim milk for less calories)
-4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1 C litehouse caramel dip (I use any caramel dip, located often in the produce section)
-½ C toasted pecans, chopped
1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray springform pan with baking spray to prevent sticking.
2-Empty brownie mix into mixing bowl. Add ingredients needed listed on back of box. I substituted applesauce for the oil listed on the brownie box. This mix is becoming the crust of the cheesecake.
3-Mix all the needed ingredients together.
4- Pour into springform pan. You may not need all the mix. Don't over fill the pan as you will be adding the cheesecake mixture after the brownie is baked. The bottom of the pan needs to be covered but no more.
6- Beat cream cheese in mixing bowl until fluffy. Add sugar. Beat until smooth.
7- Add eggs, one at a time. (see my pretty brown eggs! We buy them from a friend who has cage free chickens. Recently we even got a green shelled egg in one of our dozens! So neat!)
9- In a separate microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips and cream (or milk). Microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Heat till melted.
10- Warm 3/4 cup of caramel in microwave 20-30 second intervals.
11 - Pour 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture over cooked brownie. Swirl 1/2 of the melted chocolate and warmed caramel over cream cheese mixture.
12 - Take knife and make rows vertically then horizontally to create a swirl affect and lightly mix the chocolate and caramel.
13 - Pour other 1/2 of cream cheese mixture. Top with rest of chocolate and 1/2 of the caramel. Swirl again with knife.
14 - Take knife and make rows across then up and down. Chocolate and caramel will follow the rows of the knife to make pretty design. There is no right or wrong here - be creative and "knife" the rows as much as you would like.
16 - Turn oven off after an hour but leave cheesecake in oven for an additional 30 minutes.
17 - Top with remaining warmed caramel and chopped nuts.