1¼ C graham cracker crumbs
½ C chopped whole roastedlightly salted almonds
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
4 8-oz pkgs cream cheese,room temperature
¾ C granulated sugar
⅓ C light brown sugar
1 Tbsp Tahitian vanilla
½ tsp pure almond extract
1 C sour cream, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the graham cracker crust, put the graham cracker crumbs and almonds into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the almonds are broken down and blended with the cracker crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugars. Pulse on/off until crust is blended.
Set a buttered 9-inch springform pan on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Wrap the exterior base and sides of the pan with the foil. Empty the crust mixture onto the interior base of the prepared pan. Using the back of a large spoon or the base of a drinking glass, tamp the graham cracker mixture down in an even layer over bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the oven and set aside to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring the water to a simmer.
To make the cheesecake batter, put one 8-oz package of cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream the cheese on medium speed. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Cream on medium speed until blended. Add the remaining cream cheese, one 8-oz package at a time, beating until the cream cheese is well-blended after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extract. Beat on medium speed until blended. Add the sour cream and beat on medium-low until blended. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating on medium-low speed.
Set the wrapped, crust filled, springform pan in the center of the roasting pan. Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan, using a spatula to scrape the last bits of cheesecake batter into the pan. Fill the roasting pan with the simmering water so the water comes halfway up the sides of the foil-covered pan. Put the roasting pan in the oven and bake the cheesecake for about 1¼ to 1½ hours. The cheesecake is done when the cake is just firm (with a small bit of wiggle in the center of the cake) when the edge of the pan is gently shaken. Remove the roasting pan from the oven.
Cool the cheesecake in the roasting pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and set on a wire rack to cool. After 10 minutes, loosen the foil collar surrounding the pan. Gently run a knife around the edge of cheesecake to separate it from the pan.
Cool the cake to room temperature. Remove the foil. Open the latch on the springform pan and remove it from the cake. Lightly cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Serve with caramel sauce that has been flavored with 2 to 3 tablespoons of amaretto.
Recipe courtesy of taylortakesataste.com.