Salted caramel and pecan cheesecake
Although I’ve made many cheesecakes before, I think I might have finally come up with a really good recipe here. The cheesecake itself was soft, airy and light. Lighter than any other cheesecake I’ve ever made (well, aside from the Japanese cheesecake but that’s baked using a slightly different method and ingredients). It’s so light I could eat two slices at a go… or more. Definitely more. Together with the salted caramel topping, this recipe is definitely a keeper for me.
I used Tennis biscuits after tasting a cheesecake with this biscuit base on our trip to South Africa. Tennis biscuits are made by the manufacturer Bakers from South Africa. The biscuit is a little like the caramel cream biscuits in England, with a hint of coconut flavour. If you can’t get these (I brought mine back from SA) then use digestive biscuits instead.
To make the cheesecake
- 150g Tennis biscuits crumbs
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 600g cream cheese
- 180g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Grease the sides of a 20cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a little butter. Line the base of the tin with baking paper.
- Mix together the Tennis biscuit crumbs, butter, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared cake tin and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until light, airy, and smooth (10 minutes on my Kitchenaid mixer at speed 4).
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing completely after each addition until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and mix completely.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40 minutes. The top of your cheesecake should just be turning a golden colour. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar, and allow the cheesecake to cool completely.
To make the caramel
- 180g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100ml double cream
- Add the water and sugar into a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Use a wet brush to remove any crystals that form on the side.
- Increase the heat to high. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute. Do not stir the mixture from now.
- After approximately 4-5 minutes the mixture will turn a light shade of amber. Another 60-90 seconds and the mixture will turn a dark shade of amber.
- Once the mixture is a dark shade of amber, remove from the heat and add the butter then the cream. Stir to combined.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
To assemble your cheesecake
- 100g coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 large pinch sea salt
Remove your cheesecake from the cake tin and pour the caramel over, then scatter the chopped pecans and sea salt over the top. Try allowing the cake to firm up a little in the fridge for a couple of hours before devouring, otherwise it will get quite messy with the caramel.
Yields 1 large cake