Servings: 6 Prep: 10 min Cook: 1 hr Total: 1 hr 10 min
Caramel is made out of sugar. I love caramel, but I don’t eat sugar. Unfortunately this quick logic would tell the sad sad story of the man who lost his caramel. I sought a solution. I thought and thought and looked and poked and peeked. Finally, one evening an epiphany smacked me upside the head. BUTTER!
There’s a concept in cookery for “Brown Butter” … or even blackened butter. Butter has what’s called “milk solids” in it (including lactose … a form of milk sugar). It’s also got butter fat and water. When you cook butter, it will start to caramelize and eventually burn. As it caramelizes, the flavors deepen and become more complex and charismatic of the “caramel” flavor that I so know and love!
This little idea wasn’t enough, unfortunately. Butter, in its store bought form, is mostly all fat. I want more “milk solids” to caramelize. In order to create a whole tasty dessert whose flavor stems from a single ingredient, that ingredient needs to be pronounced. The only way I could conceive to get enough caramelized flavor was to either caramelize A LOT of butter, then skim off most of the butter fat (ghee, essentially … which could be used elsewhere) or start with heavy cream! We all know that butter comes from cream. If I started with cream, I’d get a lot more milk solids, thus … more flavor! YAY!
This is where this recipe becomes a bit tricky and odd, but if the idea of a spoon full of salted caramel cheesecake sounds appealing to you, and you’re willing to work for it … you can have it!
Note: Sorry for the lengthy explanation on the reduction and breaking of the cream. It needs to be done slowly … OH soo slowly … and carefully watched, otherwise it burns or boils over. It’s a bit tricky, but in my opinion VERY worth it.
Salted Brown Butter Cheesecake Refrigerator Candy StuffPrint Rate
- 1 1/2 cup cream heavy whipping
- 8 ounces full fat cream cheese preferably warmed
- 1/2 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 1 tsp salt
- Place the heavy cream on the stove, over low heat, to start reducing. Do not try and go too fast or hurry the process, because the cream will boil up the sides of the pot and overflow and make a big mess of your kitchen. You need to go with a very low simmer and just let it gurgle away for a while. It can take a good hour or two, but ... in my own personal opinion ... it's worth it! The end result of these steps really is something almost magical.
- Reduce the cream until it breaks and starts to color. ("breaking" means that it will stop looking like cream. It will separate into clear liquid fat, with "stuff" floating in it ... this is a good thing, in this case) DO NOT burn it. There's a point at which it's too dark and becomes bitter. Look for something that resembles a nice "sand at the beach" (floating in yellow butter fat). Much darker than a nice sandy color and it gets bitter. Too light in color and ... the flavors are not developed as well as they could be. It's a very fine line! Should be light brown/tan.
- Once it's like little pebbles and the color of sand at the beach, set it aside. Keep it warm, but not "hot".
- Add all ingredients to a food processor, except the warm browned butter. You can do this with a bowl and a whisk, but it's touchy. The food processor is the way to go.
- Turn on the food processor.
- With the processor running, SLOWLY pour the melted into the cream cheese. It should emulsify and make something that looks almost like tan colored mayonnaise. Pour VERY slowly, in a thin stream, to start. After the first 1/4 cup has been added, you may pour a little more quickly (still slow, though).
- Divide into 6 smaller cups, with lids.
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39 thoughts on “Salted Brown Butter Cheesecake Refrigerator Candy Stuff”
Am I reading that right, that there’s 701 grams of fat per serving???
Hi Vilya! It was a typo. Whoops! I’ve fixed it. Usually when I calculate the nutrition, I’m focused on the carb content. I never noticed that the cream had about 30 times the fat content than it was supposed to. I’ve fixed it. Thank you for pointing it out!
LOL! Whew, thank goodness!
This looks so yummy. So u just eat it off a spoon? Ummm. Gonna try it tomorrow.
Hi CJ! Yep. It’s not really thick enough to eat with a fork. It’s sort of like … pudding? When it cools down, it’s thicker. More like a soft cheesecake. A clean finger could work, too! 😉
This looks amazing!! When I have TIME I’m going to give it a try!
Lisa, if you ever find any extra time … will you give me some! I need it! 😉
I am giving this a try. My question is do you stir the cream frequently, occasionally, or not at all while it is reducing?
Hi Sharon. GREAT question! It’s really difficult to explain. You want to bring color to the cream. If you stir it constantly, it will eventually color (quite evenly, too, I might add!), but your arm will likely fall off trying to achieve that perfect bronze. What I do is let it reduce and allow a thin film of caramelization to occur at the bottom of the pan. Then, with a heat resistant rubber spatula, I scrape the bottom, stir it around, then let it sit and slowly reduce and color for another 2 to 7 minutes. Does that make sense?
Thank you…yes it does make sense. That is what I have been doing. It just seemed right. Lol! Some day I am going to take a cooking class and learn the basics.
This is really good!! Your directions were awesome. 😀
Have to try!! I made caramel using Tagatose the traditional way… it was awesome. If you’re a caramel junkie too give it a try. I’m curious if you’ve tried using it yet? It brown fast though.. watch carefully!
I made this recipe and it is scrumptious. Only problem was that I had way too much custard for a 9 inch pie pan. Next time I will use a 10 or 12 inch pan. DH an I both loved the butterscotch flavor of the custard. Two thumbs up here.
Oh, I’d never even thought of putting this into a pie, but … it’s actually perfect for it! Thanks for the tip! Now people know they’ll have a little extra! 🙂
DJ, I appreciate your commitment to caramel. In my experimenting, I have found that heating butter + whey protein powder is another way to provide a lot of protein for browning, in lieu of of sugar. I’ve used it to make a kind of peanut brittle.
Jennifer, have you seen my brown butter pie on the Living Low Carb, One Day at a Time website? It takes this idea quite a bit further. It’s amazing! Also … I have to ask you to send me your peanut brittle recipe. THAT sounds AMAZING! 🙂
Oh i was craving Caramel last night soooooo bad! This weekend is rainy and yuk out so I think this sounds like a terrific way to enjoy my time, I wish my bulk Swerve had arrived but opening Truvia packets will work for now! Thanks for all you do DJ!
Would you recommend a nonstick pan over stainless? Looks wonderful!
Hi Kristen, that’s not an easy question to answer. I think of non-stick as a more beginner pan, but it’s also VERY easy to damage. They’re also usually quite a bit cheaper. The stainless pans can be beautiful and expensive, but are tougher to learn how to use. What I would recommend is put some money into a nice set of stainless, but have one non-stick pan for things like eggs, crepes and truly delicate work … and baby it. I hope this helps! 🙂
I’ve made this a few times now, and either I’m doing something seriously wrong or you like things crazy salty. I halved the salt the last time I made it and it was still a little too salty.
The cream reduces so much that I thought it may be a volume issue, so I whipped an extra half cup of cream to add in at the end. I never reached a breaking point with my cream. It just kept reducing and I stopped when it was a sandy/tan color.
Hi Suzanne, if you’re getting the brown caramel color and flavor, it technically doesn’t need to break. I suppose a HIGHLY homogenized cream is just never going to break, but I’ve personally never run across it. Regarding the saltiness, you can always add the salt at the very end and just add it to taste. Yes, I definitely have a salty palate, though. It’s very common of kitchen folk. We all tend to. Sorry if it was too much for you!
Made these last night — I actually divided mine up into 10 servings, which make perfect "fat bomb" servings at just about 200 calories. Great for my fat fasts, and so much better than a handful of macadamia nuts (and higher fat too!). Thanks DJ – keep up the great work – love looking at all your new recipes!
Awesome, W! I always love it when people make this one. It takes a lot more patience, but … in my opinion, the time is WELL worth it! 🙂
I can’t wait to try this recipe, but I have a question: would the browned butter turned into caramel work as a caramel sauce for drizzling or dipping?
Hi Katrina … if I understand your question … no. Browned butter is little more than hot grease with small caramelized flecks of caramelized butter solids floating in it. It’s not sweet, nor is it saucy or gooey. It’s just a big hot pool of fat, but … combined with some other ingredients and sweetener it does an EXCELLENT job of mimic-ing some of the flavors. Does this make sense?
DJ, thanks for the response. It makes perfect sense. I was envisioning butter turned caramel sauce stirred into coffee and drizzled over keto pudding. Never hurts to dream.
Looks fab and I’m definitely going to give it a try. Just one question – how long does it keep in the fridge and can you freeze it?
This sounds absolutely perfect for a thermomix conversion…! Going to give it a try today.
What is the SA count? How does it work when subtracting it from the carbs?
I don’t have a food processor. How do I mix this?
Do you mean that the cooked cream becomes browned butter?
Susie, I?ve had this last for about a week in the fridge. I wouldn?t go much longer than that. It ?might? freeze, but ? I worry it would do funny things in the freezer. Maybe try freezing one and see how it turns out. Typically, cheesecakes freeze very well, but ? this is almost all fat. I fear it would break, when it defrosts ? Maybe if you just ate it straight from the freezer? <br /><br />
Unknown, SA stands for ?Sugar Alcohols?. I recommend an erythritol based sweetener, which has no impact on blood sugars. So, I deduct those carbs from the final ?net? carb total of about 3 net carbs per serving. Does this make sense? <br /><br />
Unknown2, If you don?t have a food processor, you could use an electric mixer. Technically, you could just use a bowl and a whisk, but ? you?d need to be pretty consistent and furious in your motions. Your arm will want to fall off, towards the end, but it?s possible to do it, this way. You?d just need to add the fat slowly, while you whisk. I?d STRONGLY suggest some kind of electronic mixer, though. Yes, the broken and cooked down cream becomes an AMAZING browned butter. It?s WONDERFUL!
I was so excited and tried this recipe. Only problem – my whipping cream never separated and browned. It just reduced to a smooth and thick substance like devonshire cream. I waited for two hours and it just never happened.
Soorplooms, eventually, it will work. Maybe try a bit of higher heat and stir it. Anything will eventually reduce down to its bare essentials … even water will eventually reduce down to just whatever minerals are in it. You just need to let it go longer and evaporate the water to the point where it separates. That said, the reference to Devonshire makes me wonder whether you’re in the US. I know that there are different cream products in the UK (Mexico, too, for that matter … The creams in Mexico respond differently than US cream). In any event, because your cream MAY be different than mine, it may behave differently and take longer, but … unless there’s another factor, or I’m just flat out wrong (which is possible), it should eventually separate and brown. It’s just a matter of giving it time for the water to evaporate. Hopefully this helps. I’d love to hear more about your predicament! I am sorry for the time you spent on this one!
really?? I read the comments and other people liked this, I can’t eat it as the salt is wayyyyy too much. there is no flavor just salt. it sounded good but I had to throw it out.
Hi Jnona. A lot of people really like the combination of sweet and salty. I am one of them. That said, I can understand how it might not be to everyone’s tastes. I personally have a pretty salty palate. In the future, before adding a lot of salt to a recipe, add a small amount and taste it. If you feel it needs more … add a bit more. In terms of seasoning, you can ALWAYS add more, if you don’t add enough, but … once its in there, you can’t take it out. It’s always important to taste as you go, and season appropriately. In any event, this, to me … has outstanding flavors. I am sorry it didn’t work for you. I know it’s not easily achieved!
Hi, have you tried making caramel from coconut cream? It’s much like making it out of condensed milk, just takes longer as you boil it to reduce it. Didn’t taste coconutty at all either 🙂
is a “serving” a spoonful, or one entire container?
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/13/2015
Hi Jackie. It’s one-sixth of the entire recipe. 6 servings per recipe. So … assuming you divide the portions into 6 separate containers, the serving size is one container. I hope that helps! 🙂
How am I missing the amount of butter in this?
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/25/2015
Hi Missy, it doesn’t contain butter … exactly. Butter is made from cream, right? So, we’re essentially browning cream. This all comes down to ratios and whatnot. Butter is mostly butterfat, with only a small percentage of milk solids (the stuff we caramelize to give the flavor). By starting with cream, once the water has been evaporated out, the remaining milk solids are about 8 times that of the same amount of butter, in relation to the butterfat. This means that there’s about 8 times the amount of flavor. It takes longer and is harder to achieve, but … 8 times more flavor is worth it, to me. It’s a fantastic flavor and quite special, especially in knowing what a pickle it was to achieve! I hope this helps explain things! 🙂
A picture of the point at which the cream is ready (sand) would be nice! Thanks!
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/25/2015
Kathy, I agree. I’ve long been meaning to make this one a video, actually. A photo won’t even fully do this justice. You kind of need to see the little bits floating and moving around within the fat. I’m sure I’ll get to it someday. Sorry I don’t have it, at the moment! :/