Vanilla Cheesecake with Caramel Pecans and a Butterscotch Sauce

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VANILLA CHEESE CAKE

This is my take on a classic baked cheesecake with some extra special topping. It takes me back to my Grandma’s German cheesecake, made once a year for Shavuot when it is customary to eat dairy food, which we always looked forward to eating. I love the jewel-like broken caramel on top of this cake, and it gives a nice crunch too. If you love toffee sauce, double the quantities and keep a little jar in the fridge to heat as a sauce with ice cream and desserts.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10-14Servings

Ingredients

Base:

  • 9 ounces (250-grams) digestive biscuits or graham crackers
  • 3 1/2 ounce (100-grams) melted butter

Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups (600-grams) low fat cream cheese
  • 7 ounces (200-grams) caster sugar (superfine or granulated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces (300-grams) soured cream
  • 1 ounce (25-grams) flour
  • 4 eggs

Pecan topping:

  • 1 cup (200-grams) pecan nuts
  • 4 ounces (120-grams) caster sugar (superfine or granulated)

Butterscotch sauce:

  • 1 1/2 ounce (40-grams) butter
  • 2 ounces (50-grams) soft brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces (40-grams) caster sugar (superfine or granulated)
  • 1 cup (225-grams) golden syrup or maple syrup
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Base:

1. Preheat the oven to 140°C /275°F/gas 1.

2. Start by greasing and lining a 25 cm/10 inch spring-form cake tin with baking paper. 

3. Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin or in a food processor and melt the butter in a saucepan. 

4. Mix butter and biscuits together and press into the tin evenly using the back of a spoon.

Filling:

1. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, soured cream and flour together until smooth. 

2. Whisk the eggs in, one at a time, until well combined.

3. Fill the cake tin with the mixture, place on a tray and bake for 60-80 minutes, or until the cheesecake is just set and lightly puffed up and golden at the sides.

5. Leave to cool in the tin.

Pecan Topping:

1. Scatter the pecans on a lined baking tray and toast at 140°C /275°F/gas 1 for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily.

2. For the caramel, put the sugar in a saucepan with enough water to just cover it. Heat gently until dissolved, and then turn the heat up to a simmer. Do not stir, but swirl occasionally to ensure that the sugar is cooking evenly. Be careful! Sugar reaches temperatures of 160°C /320°F and can cause very bad burns.

3. When the sugar is caramel coloured, turn off the heat, add the pecans carefully, stirring until they are coated, and pour onto a lined baking tray to cool. Do not touch the nuts. When they have cooled, break into chunks or chop roughly.

Butterscotch sauce:

1. Put the butter, sugars and golden syrup into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Stir and bubble lightly for 5 minutes.

2. Add cream and vanilla extract. Boil for another minute, and turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

3. To finish the cheesecake, pour the slightly warmed sauce over the cheesecake and scatter the nuts over the top. Keep the cheesecake in the fridge until you want to eat it.

Recipe Courtesy of  Rachel Davies