Amaretto gives this cheesecake the extra almond flavor!
For me it is the almond caramel topping that makes this cheesecake so different to others! This almond amaretto cheesecake is a delightful dessert that is perfect for any occasion. This decadent treat combines the rich and creamy texture of cheesecake with the nutty and sweet flavors of almonds and amaretto liqueur.
What is amaretto?
Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored liqueur that is often enjoyed as a digestif or as an ingredient in cocktails and desserts. It has a long and interesting history, dating back to the 16th century in Italy.
The word "amaretto" comes from the Italian word "amaro," which means "bitter." Despite this name, amaretto is not actually bitter at all. It is made with a combination of sweet and bitter almonds, as well as other ingredients such as apricot kernels and vanilla. The resulting flavor is a sweet and nutty taste that is perfect for sipping on its own or for adding to cocktails and desserts. If you like almond flavored cakes you will love this cheesecake!
Read here how to get a perfectly smooth cheesecake!
How to make the a thick and creamy caramel sauce!
The key to a thick caramel sauce is the perfect cooking time and temperature. If you let it cook too long or too hot you will end up with a hard caramel type of caramel. If you do not cook it enough it will be runny. I prefer to cook it too less and reheat it if needed! If you overcook it there is no way to safe it you will have to start over!
These are the cheesecake pans that I always use in my recipe videos: Springform pan and Removable bottom pan
A 8 inch springform pan is the traditional choice to make most cheesecake recipes. I usually use it for no bake cheesecakes. For baked cheesecakes I prefer the removable bottom pan. It has the advantage of fitting a water bath snuggly around it.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe
Almond Amaretto Cheesecake
For the graham crust:
1 3/4 cups (225 g) graham cracker crumbs (about 15 cracker)
1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
6 tbsp (75 g) melted butter
For the cheesecake batter:
32 oz (907 g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
4 large eggs
1/3 cup (80 ml) amaretto liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
4 tbsp flour
For the filling:
1 cup (92 g) sliced almonds
1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (200 g) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
3 tablespoons amaretto
1 cup heavy cream, optional
1/3 cup powdered sugar, optional
1 tsp vanilla, optional
maraschino cherries, optional
additional sliced almonds, optional
Check out my Almond Joy Cheesecake tutorial while this one is in the making
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Crush up Graham cracker in a food processor or use a zip lock bag and a rolling pin to make cookie crumbs. Mix the fine crumbs with melted butter and sugar. Prepare a spring form pan with parchment paper and grease it. Press the cookie crumb mixture in the pan and also up the sides. Bake it for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let it come to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 °F.
To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Add the cream cheese, sugar, amaretto, almond extract, vanilla and flour to a big mixing bowl and mix it until smooth for about 4 minutes. Scrape it down after each mixing to ensure no lumps are left. Add in sour cream and heavy cream. Mix in eggs at last. Mix until smooth for about 2 minutes.
Fill the cheesecake batter on top of the cookie crust. To bake the cake cover the spring form pan in aluminum foil or a silicon baking pan to make sure no water can enter. Place it in a slightly bigger baking pan and fill it 1 inch high with water. Bake the cake in this water bath at 325 °F for about 90 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath and cut around the edge to prevent cracking. Let it come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes better 2 hours. Then let it cool over night or for at least 6 hours in the fridge.
To decorate the cake make a caramel sauce. Into a medium sized pot add sugar, amaretto, butter and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning. When it has thickened remove from heat and let it cool before using. The sauce is going to thicken more as it cools. Toast sliced almonds in a frying pan without any oil on medium heat. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Step 5:
Decorate the cake immediately before serving with an almond caramel sauce, whipped cream swirls and maraschino cherries! Serve directly from the fridge! The longer the chieesecake stays at room temperature the softer it gets!
Exchange about 1/2 cup of graham crumbs with almond meal for an extra almond flavor! Toast almond meal before adding to really get the aroma!
Swipe out some of that cream cheese for ricotta for a creamier, more Italian like treat!
Don’t overbake the cheesecake as it will continue baking while cooling down. When the cake has a slightly jiggly texture in the center it is done baking.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe.
I love to add more lemon juice for a stronger flavor.