This is my "famous" recipe for Mascarpone Cheesecake! It won second place in a "Taste of Italy" contest with Taste of Home magazine! This recipe was printed in the August/September 2008 magazine issue and has also appeared in 2 of their Annual recipe cookbooks for 2009.
1Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square).
Securely wrap foil around pan.
2In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter.
Press onto the bottom of prepared pan.
Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
3For filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cheeses, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth.
Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust.
4Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
Remove springform pan from water bath.
5Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
Remove sides of pan.
6Before serving, prepare topping mix according to package directions.
Garnish cheesecake with whipped topping; drizzle with caramel.