Pecans can be used in cheesecake too, not just pie.

Maple Pecan cheesecake – it was totally nom. Just made it for family dinner on Saturday night and I figured if I don’t have a job I might as well bake and blog, blog and bake.

This is pretty basic for a chilled cheesecake, but there are several areas in which it can go really wrong. The following ingredients and instructions are what appears in The Australian Woman’s Weekly Cupcakes, Cheesecakes, Cookies book but they are not 100 per cent what I followed.

Ingredients

185g ginger nut biscuits

60g butter, melted

Filling

3 teaspoons gelatine

1/4 cup (60ml) water

500g cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (55g) firmly packed brown sugar

300ml cream

1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup

Topping

1 1/4 cups (175g) peacans, chopped coarsely

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

1. Grease deep 19cm square cake pan;line base and sides with two sheets baking paper, extending paper 5cm above edges of pan.

2. Process biscuits until fin. Add butter; process until combined. Press mixture over base of pan; refrigerate 30 minutes.

3. Make filling by sprinkling gelatine over the water in small heatproof jug; stand just in small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until gelatine dissolves. Cool 5 minutes

4. Beat cheese and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth; beat in cream and maple syrup. Stir in gelatine mixture.

5. Pour filling mixture into pan; refrigerate overnight.

6. Make topping.

7. Serve cheesecake sprinkled with topping.

Topping

Preheat oven to 240C/220C fan-forced. Combine nuts and maple syrup in small bowl; spread mixture onto greased oven tray. Roast 10 minutes or until browned lightly; cool.

Serves 12.

Tips

With the type of tin used – I usually just use a round spring-form 25cm tin. It is much easier to get the cheesecake out of the tin and if you place the bottom into the ring upside down, you can easily slide the entire cheesecake off onto a plate. In switching the type of tin used, I increased the amount of biscuit used for the base to 250g and butter to 80g.

The base – I usually don’t use the base recipe which is provided, but I decided to give this one a go, because it was different with using the ginger nuts. But I think I have found the perfect one – 250g wine biscuits blended with 2 tablespoons of apple sauce and 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter. This base combines really well and doesn’t crumble when it is cut.

Gelatine – if done wrong there can be large chunks throughout the cake which are chewy and gross and ultimately ruins the cheesecake. If you have a small jug or bowl which you are able to sit in the top of your jug then an easy way to heat the gelatine is to place the gelatine and water in the small bowl then place in the top of the jug and boil. Once the jug is boiled give the gelatine a stir and allow to cool. By preparing the gelatine this way it combines completely. When adding it to the cheesecake mixture, it needs to be mixed in quickly and thoroughly. Thus leaving the cheesecake with no unwanted chewy lumps of gelatine.

Maple syrup – I used Queen maple flavoured sugar free syrup, which can be bought from New World supermarkets. Some may say this is the cheats version of maple syrup, but it allows the sugar content to be reduced in the cheesecake and probably the richness too.

Pecans – already hard to cut with a knife, but put them on top of a soft cheesecake and try to cut them and you will surely end up with mush. Which is why I cut the cheesecake into the desired pieces first. I cut the cheesecake  into 8 pieces, but they were quite large so it could manage 10. Then I sprinkled the roasted pecans over the cheesecake.

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