Today we celebrated the holiday with brunch at my brother's house in Orange County. Our menu consisted of cheesy grits, orzo salad, sweet potato hash, brown sugar-glazed ham and an Almond Rocca apple cheesecake. I woke up extra early Easter morning to finish preparing my dishes (the orzo, ham, and cheesecake were mine), and then BF and I carefully packed everything into the car for the 45 minute ride down to the OC.
This toffee apple cheesecake recipe is from the very talented Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. I didn't have the toffee bits though (can you believe I stopped at 3 different grocery stores and could not find this product?), so I settled for the next best thing, Almond Rocca. I also used half neufchatel cheese and half cream cheese in the recipe but this was not intentional. I didn't notice that I bought neufchatel until I was just about to mix the ingredients together. Not only that, but the recipe calls for 2 pounds of cream cheese and I only had one pound of neufchatel! Luckily my sweetie-pie was available to run out to Trader Joe's for me and got me a pound of cream cheese. I decided to not let the neufchatel go to waste and decided to use a combination of the two different cheeses.
The end result was a luscious creamy dessert with a slight bit of crunch from the Almond Rocca and a refreshing flavor from the apples. The neufchatel and cream cheese blended very well together and I certainly couldn't tell that the cake wasn't 100 percent cream cheese. I think I may have burned the caramel sauce just slightly though which gave it a very overpowering flavor. My BF called it "confusing" when he ate the caramel with the cheesecake. I rather liked the contrasting flavors though which sort of gave the dessert a smooth, balanced taste, complementing each other well.