Califonia Bountiful

California cheesecake with tawny port caramel drizzle

Cheesecake takes on a whole new level of decadence when drizzled with this uniquely flavored caramel.

Ficklin Vineyards, Madera

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1 1/2 cups graham cracker or gingersnap cookie crumbs
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
7 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. orange juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Tawny port caramel drizzle
2 cups Ficklin Vineyards Aged 10 Years Tawny Port
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir crumbs with brown sugar and salt, then mix with melted butter. Press into a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Wrap bottom of pan with foil. Bake in oven for 10 minutes to set crust. Remove crust and reduce oven to 350 degrees.

With a mixer, blend cream cheese, eggs, orange juice, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour into baked crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top of cheesecake is slightly dry to the touch. (It will be jiggly but will set up once cooled.) Remove and cool 10 minutes.

Mix sour cream, 3 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Pour over top of cake and bake 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool; chill in refrigerator overnight.

Meanwhile, prepare caramel: Pour port and brown sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture reduces by about half and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in salt and cream until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and cool.

Drizzle chilled cheesecake with tawny port caramel before serving.

Photo: © 2020 Tomas OvalleĀ 

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