A rich caramel cheesecake with pecans and a homemade salted caramel sauce.
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake
- 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup caramel topping (recipe listed below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon caramel extract (or sub vanilla)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
For the topping
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 batch caramel dip (recipe listed below)
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Prepare the required caramel sauce prior to making the cheesecake and allow proper time to cool.
- Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the very bottom rack of the oven and fill it halfway with water. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
- For the crust: Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press the cumbs firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
- For the cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth.
- Pour in the cream, caramel topping, extracts and flour. Beat until everything is incorporated completely.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated, but do not overbeat the batter.
- Add crushed pecans to the bottom of the cheesecake
- Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the prepared crust. Place the pan on the oven rack right above the tray of water. Bake for 60 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the cheesecake cool for five minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the springform pan.
- Let the cheesecake cool for one hour then refrigerate it for 4 to 6 hours or until completely chilled.
- Detach the springform pan ring and remove the cheesecake from the pan. Slide it onto the serving plate.
- For the topping: Prepare the caramel dip. Stir the pecans into the caramel dip. Spread this mixture on top of the cheesecake right before serving. Add whipped cream if desired. Keep refrigerated.
- Prepare the whipping cream. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream gets bubbly. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Pipe a boarder around the edge of the cheesecake. Keep refrigerated.
- If you refrigerate the cheesecake with the caramel dip on top, the caramel will harden. Run a sharp knife under very hot water. Dry it off and very slowly cut through the caramel so that you do not crush the soft cheesecake. The hot knife will melt the caramel as you cut through.
- Prepare the required caramel sauce prior to making the cheesecake and allow proper time to cool. There are two types of caramel sauce for this recipe. These can be either homemade or store brought. The caramel sauce for the cheesecake filling should be thin like an ice cream topping. The caramel sauce for the topping should be thick like a caramel dip for apples.
- Recipe reprinted with permissions from St. Martin’s Press Cheesecake Love