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Pecan Caramel Cheesecake

I’m not sure whether I have ever met someone who didn’t like cheesecake and I’m not sure whether I want to. What’s not to love, right? I love a no-bake cheesecake, but I do think that a baked cheesecake has the edge that wins for me. It’s a little bit like instant coffee vs going through the whole process of grinding your own beans and making a proper coffee. Most of us by far prefer the flavour and taste of a real coffee and why not. Although I am sure due to convenience you will find a jar of instant coffee in every coffee lover’s kitchen. I think we can be a little like this when it comes to cheesecake no-bake cheesecakes are a great dessert for those experimenting with their first desserts and those short on time. Baked cheesecakes take a bit more work and that’s ok. They are worth it. Honestly, they sound more daunting than they are. Often words like bain Marie can scare people or the cooking steps and stages but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Firstly, a bain Marie simply means a water bath so all we have to do for this is wrap the cheesecake base in kitchen foil to prevent water from getting into the cheesecake. Place it in a roasting tin and pour water from a recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin around the cheesecake, simple.

Baked Cheesecake recipe

The next step that can be off putting is all the warnings in recipes about baked cheesecake tops cracking. Firstly, I say “Big Deal” who cares if the top cracks it’s not the end of the world. It isn’t ruined and often the topping will disguise it even if it does. So fear not. I have found the best way to prevent the top cracking is to allow my cheesecake to sit for an hour after its baked in a switched off oven. The reason I do this is because one of the main reasons for cheesecakes cracking is the extreme temperature changes and living in Ireland my kitchen most of the year isn’t very hot and taking it straight from the oven to the kitchen counter will shock it and create cracks so instead I let it rest for an hour in the oven after baking then transfer to the kitchen counter to cool completely. If it is very cold in my kitchen after the hour I open the oven door fully and let it cool completely in the oven with the door open.

Baked pecan caramel cheesecake

One other important factor to keep in mind when making baked cheesecakes, and one I wish I had known about when I made my first baked cheesecake is that it should still have wobble when shaken after it has been baked.

I hope you enjoy the recipe below as much as I do.

A delicious baked cheesecake with a toasted pecan caramel topping. A real luxurious treat.

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Pecan Caramel Cheesecake

Yields8 Servings

Base
 120 g Digestive Biscuits
 60 g Unsalted butter, meltedPlus extra for greasing cake pan
Cheesecake
 400 g Cream Cheese,Room temprature
 125 g Caster Sugar
 200 g Sour cream
 120 ml Double cream
 2 Eggs
 2 tbsp Cornflour
 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
 ½ Lemon, Juiced
Topping
 100 g Pecans, Toasted
 50 g Butter
 50 g Caster sugar
 75 g Light brown sugar
 2 tbsp Golden syrup
 60 Double Cream

1

Place the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash until a fine crumb. Alternatively, blitz in a food processor.

2

Mix the melted butter into the crumbs. Press into the base of a 7" cake pan pressing down on it with your knuckles or the back of a tablespoon to spread it evenly. Grease the sides of the pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Then set aside to firm as you prepare the cheesecake.

3

To a large mixing bowl add the cream cheese and caster sugar. Give a quick mix, then add sour cream, cream, eggs, cornflour, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Whisk together until smooth. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Give it a wrap on the counter to remove air bubbles and a little shimmy to level the batter.

4

Wrap the cake pan in kitchen foil to prevent water penetrating the cheesecake as it bakes. Place in a roasting tin. Put on the middle shelf of the oven and pour water from a recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin until it is approx 2 cm depth. Bake for 30 minutes as 180˚C/160˚C Fan. Lower the temperature to 150˚C/130˚C Fan for a further 30 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in for a further 60 minutes. Then transfer to the kitchen counter to allow to cool completely in the tin.

5

Meanwhile, prepare the topping by breaking pecans in half into a heavy-based pan and toast over a medium heat until they just begin to scorch. Then tip into a bowl and sets aside.

6

Add butter, sugars, and golden syrup to a heavy-based pan. Stir together and place over medium heat on the hob. Allow the sugar to melt and bubble for a few minutes before carefully whisking in the double cream. Mix in the toasted pecans then set aside to cool.

7

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin. Peel away the parchment paper. Use a palette knife to release the cheesecake from the cake tin base and to transfer to a cake stand or plate. Top with the pecan caramel and smooth to the edges with the palette knife. Slice into 8 generous portions.

Ingredients

Base
 120 g Digestive Biscuits
 60 g Unsalted butter, meltedPlus extra for greasing cake pan
Cheesecake
 400 g Cream Cheese,Room temprature
 125 g Caster Sugar
 200 g Sour cream
 120 ml Double cream
 2 Eggs
 2 tbsp Cornflour
 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
 ½ Lemon, Juiced
Topping
 100 g Pecans, Toasted
 50 g Butter
 50 g Caster sugar
 75 g Light brown sugar
 2 tbsp Golden syrup
 60 Double Cream

Directions

1

Place the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash until a fine crumb. Alternatively, blitz in a food processor.

2

Mix the melted butter into the crumbs. Press into the base of a 7" cake pan pressing down on it with your knuckles or the back of a tablespoon to spread it evenly. Grease the sides of the pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Then set aside to firm as you prepare the cheesecake.

3

To a large mixing bowl add the cream cheese and caster sugar. Give a quick mix, then add sour cream, cream, eggs, cornflour, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Whisk together until smooth. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Give it a wrap on the counter to remove air bubbles and a little shimmy to level the batter.

4

Wrap the cake pan in kitchen foil to prevent water penetrating the cheesecake as it bakes. Place in a roasting tin. Put on the middle shelf of the oven and pour water from a recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin until it is approx 2 cm depth. Bake for 30 minutes as 180˚C/160˚C Fan. Lower the temperature to 150˚C/130˚C Fan for a further 30 minutes. Switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in for a further 60 minutes. Then transfer to the kitchen counter to allow to cool completely in the tin.

5

Meanwhile, prepare the topping by breaking pecans in half into a heavy-based pan and toast over a medium heat until they just begin to scorch. Then tip into a bowl and sets aside.

6

Add butter, sugars, and golden syrup to a heavy-based pan. Stir together and place over medium heat on the hob. Allow the sugar to melt and bubble for a few minutes before carefully whisking in the double cream. Mix in the toasted pecans then set aside to cool.

7

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin. Peel away the parchment paper. Use a palette knife to release the cheesecake from the cake tin base and to transfer to a cake stand or plate. Top with the pecan caramel and smooth to the edges with the palette knife. Slice into 8 generous portions.

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
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