Rumchata Cheesecake

Last week I was surfing the web for something new, festive and sweet to end our Get me out of the cold themed menu and with that, tropical beaches and poolside cocktails came to mind. I stumbled on a few contenders, but this one ultimately won because, well, I have never tasted RumChata before and I was intrigued.  What's not to like about a little booze, cream and spices in a luscious creamy dessert?  

As usual, I do have to talk about and point out a few things in the recipe. First up, the crust. The original recipe called for a certain cinnamon toast cereal which is not something I keep in my pantry.  I like a more traditional graham cracker crust for cheesecakes, so I thought I would go with tradition and add a little bit of cinnamon to the mixture. Well, let me tell you that when I was at the store, I strolled down the cereal isle out of curiosity and low and behold there was a new kid on the block; CinnaGraham Toast Crunch Cereal™. I could not believe it! I don't buy sugary cereals like that, but I decide to make an exception and I am glad I did.

The original recipe also called for a sour cream topping and a caramel drizzle, but I opted for a cinnamon sugar shake all over, a homemade caramel sauce (because I had some in the refrigerator but store bought can be used) and a lightly sweetened whipped cream that I used to pipe rosettes around the finished cake. All of these made for a beautiful presentation and certainly added to the taste!  After his first bite, my husband declared this to be one incredible cheesecake!

Printable Recipe

RumChata Cheesecake
serves 12-16

For the Crust
4 cups CinnaGraham Toast Crunch Cereal™
1/4 cup (2-ounces) unsalted butter, melted
3 Tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch of kosher salt

For the Filling
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 2-inch cubes and softened 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs
1 extra large egg yolk
3/4 cup RumChata liqueur
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt

For the Cinnamon Topping and Caramel Drizzle
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
!/4 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store bought, at room temperature

For the Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350° F.

For the Crust
In a food processor, process cereal into fine crumbs.  Add the butter, sugar and salt and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Press the mixture in the bottom and half way up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool; reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Meanwhile, clean the bowl of the food processor

When crust is cool, wrap the bottom of the pan with heavy-duty foil, making sure it goes up the sides; set aside.

For the Filling
In the clean bowl of the food processor, purée the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, egg yolk, RumChata, sour cream, rum, cinnamon and salt until smooth. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Place the pan in a high-sided roasting pan.  Create a water bath by pouring enough water in the roasting pan to go half way up the sides of the foil-wrapped springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden on top with a slit wiggle in the center, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a  wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before topping.

For the Toppings 
Meanwhile, in a large bowl using a whisk or hand held mixer, beat together the heavy whipping cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until wtif peaks form. Transfer the cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip; set aside in the refrigerator.

In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar; set aside.

Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.  Drizzle the caramel sauce on top of the cinnamon sugar. Pipe whipped cream rosettes around the edge of the cheese cake.  Chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Source: Crust and filling adapted from bettycrocker.com, Topping from The Galley Gourmet

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