I was looking to make a cheesecake for a party I was throwing recently. Everything else I was making seemed to have a chocolate theme so I wanted something that the non-chocoholics could enjoy. I get regular emails from one of my favourite food websites, Food & Wine and last week I noticed a recipe for Pecan-Praline Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce. Perfect!

If you’re going to make this cheesecake, know that if needs to chill overnight in the fridge.  The caramel sauce also needs about 2 hours to chill.

65g/2.3oz pecan halves
116g/4oz unsalted butter, melted
72g/2.5oz granulated sugar
28g/1oz light brown sugar
22ml/0.75 fl oz tablespoons double/heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 packets digestive biscuits/graham crackers (about 283g/10oz), crushed

453g/16oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
225g/8oz granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
680g/24oz full-fat sour cream

CARAMEL SAUCE, for serving
57g/2oz unsalted butter, softened
25g/0.9oz granulated sugar
28g/1oz light brown sugar
75g/2.6oz dark brown sugar
118ml/4 fl oz double/heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 190°C /170°C Fan / 375°F.  Line a 10-inch round springform pan with parchment paper then wrap the outside of it with foil.  (Don’t ask me why, I don’t know, but it worked)

In a medium bowl, toss the pecans with 2g of the butter, 7g of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, the cream and salt.


Spread the nuts on the prepared baking sheet and arrange them, right side up in a single layer.


Bake for about 18 minutes, until the sugar is caramelized and the pecans are toasted. Let cool.

Transfer all but 10 of the pecans to a food processor. Add the digestives/graham crackers and pulse until finely ground.


Add the remaining stick of melted butter and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.


Press the crumbs over the bottom of the pan and two-thirds of the way up the side of the prepared springform pan.


In a clean food processor, pulse the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and pulse until incorporated.


Scrape down the side of the bowl.  Pulse in the vanilla and sour cream.


Pour the mixture into the tin.

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Then bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour, until the top of the cheesecake is lightly golden in spots and the centre is slightly jiggly.


Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Unwrap the cheesecake and discard the foil.


Remove the ring and transfer the cake to a plate. Arrange 10 pecans on top.


I then dusted with icing sugar.


For the caramel sauce, you can either make it in advance or you can make it now.  It needs about 2 hours to chill. The caramel can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

In a medium saucepan, simply combine the butter with all three sugars and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.


Cook over moderately high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.


Add the cream and boil for 2 minutes longer.



Transfer the caramel sauce to a pitcher. Stir in the vanilla and salt and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.


Using a warm, slightly moistened knife, cut the cake into wedges, wiping and re-wetting the blade between slices. Transfer the slices to plates and pour some of the Caramel Sauce on top. Serve with the remaining Caramel Sauce.

This is really lovely. Its incredibly light and fluffy, so not too heavy after a meal.  I personally found the caramel sauce a little too sweet so I sprinkled some Maldon sea salt into it to make it a salted caramel.  That’s just a personal thing, you obviously don’t need to do that.

I didn’t get a photo of my cheesecake sliced, so this is a photo from the Food & Wine website. 


This cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

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  • Reply thelittleloaf 21st December 2012 at 10:27 am

    I was about to say how gorgeous your photography is then saw that it had been taken from the original recipe site! But the cheesecake still looks completely gorgeous and I’m sure your guests wolfed it down. Love pecan praline and caramel (the Haagen Dazs flavour is my guilty pleasure when I can’t be bothered to make my own ice cream!)

  • Reply fortheloveofdessert 21st December 2012 at 2:33 pm

    My mom makes a cheesecake every year for the holidays. I really am not a huge fan. But I like this idea… maybe I just need to cover it in caramel!

  • Reply Lucy Lu 18th February 2013 at 8:48 am

    Doesn’t the salt act to bring out the sweetness of the caramel further? Same with chocolate? I think that is what Heston B says! Great looking dessert.

  • Reply Lucy Lu 18th February 2013 at 8:52 am

    PS The foil is to stop leaks!

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