Dozens of versions of toffee cheesecake exist. In its most basic form, this dessert is simply plain cheesecake with toffee chips either mixed into the cake itself, scattered on top, or both. These toffee chips may be soft and chewy, like chocolate and peanut butter chips, or crunchy, hard pieces of traditional English toffee. Many kinds of toffee cheesecake also include some form of caramel, peanuts or chocolate, and some even feature pumpkin pie flavors.
Any cook that wants to make a very simple toffee cheesecake need only add about a handful of melted toffee chips to the cheesecake mixture. Gently stirring this mixture should create a marbled effect, while beating the mixture quickly will distribute the toffee evenly and create a golden brown cheesecake. Some cooks are also content with simply melting soft toffee chips and pouring them over the top of the cheesecake. This generally creates an elegant, glazed look.
Some cooks enjoy incorporating toffee into every aspect of their cheesecake. Melted toffee chips get mixed into the graham cracker crust and marbled throughout the cake itself. Once baked and chilled, the cook may cover the top of the cheesecake with hard, broken toffee brittle. Chopped peanuts or almonds may also be added to this topping to break up the sweetness of the candy. Salted and spiced nuts often cut the sweetness particularly well.
Toffee usually combines well with caramel, chocolate, pumpkin, and bananas. Cooks creating toffee cheesecake may play with just one other flavor, or may try combining all four. A chocolate-toffee cheesecake, for instance, may have a chocolate graham cracker crust, topped with a traditional cheesecake and drizzled with both toffee and chocolate. Another variation could involve a pool of melted caramel on top of the cheesecake studded with toffee and chocolate chips. The cheesecake itself may also be chocolate or toffee-flavored.
Caramel and toffee may be marbled through the cheesecake or melted together and spread on top. Bananas not only add an unusual flavor and texture to this variety of cheesecake, they often also temper the sweetness of the candies. Cooks using bananas in their toffee cheesecake may top the cake with banana slices, stir mashed bananas into the cheesecake mix, or both.
When adding pumpkin pie flavors to toffee cheesecake, the cook typically adds mashed, cooked pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to the cheesecake itself, then uses toffee in the topping. This is often a festive, autumn-themed dessert. Extremely adventurous cooks might combine all four traditional toffee cheesecake flavors in one recipe. One possible way to do this would be to top a chocolate crust with a pumpkin cheesecake and drizzle a caramel-toffee glaze on top of that. Those that enjoy combining bananas and pumpkin could add banana slices as a final garnish.