Decadent brownie-cheesecake with caramelised pecan crunch
July 7, 2014
If you want to satisfy three cravings in one go, look no further! This is not for the faint-hearted, but guilty pleasures never are, especially when you combine three of them – indulgent brownie, heavenly smooth cheesecake, and a sweet and savoury caramelized pecan crunch topping - to create this ultimate treat. It is a perfect celebration center piece and we would suggest making two of them at once, as you would not want to serve a half-eaten cake or scramble to produce a second one shortly before the party! We reckon this recipe will comfortably serve 12 polite diners at a dinner party or the like, but we will let you be the judge of that!
For the caramelised pecans
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp water
100g pecans, roughly chopped
A pinch of sea salt
For the biscuit base
150g digestive biscuits, finely grounded
100g ground pecans
A small pinch of salt
125g butter, room temperature
For the brownie
200g caster sugar
125g butter, room temperature
45g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
110g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
For the cheesecake
400g cream cheese
5g vanilla sugar
100g creme fraiche
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Start with the pecan crunch topping. (the pecan crunch can be prepared ahead and stored in air-tight box for upto 1 week).
a. Heat the oven to 180C.
b. Place caster sugar, butter and water into a saucepan over low heat, gently tipping the pan from side to side occasionally but do not stir the mixture.
c. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, turn the heat up and boil, until the mixture turns into a golden caramel colour. d. Quickly stir in the pecan and sea salt, and place the mixture onto a lightly greased baking tray, and bake for 7 - 10 minutes at 180C.e. Set aside to let cool completely.
2. Prepare the biscuit base.
a. Heat the oven to 180 C. b. In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together.
c. Lightly grease a 23cm springform cake tin with butter. Press the biscuit-pecan mixture into the base of the cake tin and 1-2cm up along the sides of the cake tin. Bake in the oven at 180C for 12-15 minutes.
d. Set aside to let cool completely.
3. In the mean time, prepare the brownie layer.
a. Cream sugar and butter in a mixing bowl. Add cocoa powder and mix well. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs. and then slowly add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. b. Pour the brownie mixture onto the cooled digestive and pecan base, and bake at 180 C for 25 minutes.
c. Set aside to let cool completely.
4. While the bottom layers are baking, prepare the cheesecake filling.
a. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with caster sugar and vanilla sugar.
b. In a seperate bowl, beat corn flour with creme fraiche until well mixed. Mix the creme fraiche-cornflour mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Mix well, followed by the eggs one at a time.
c. Tip the cheesecake batter onto the cooled brownie. and bake at 160C for 50 - 60 minutes until the edges of the top is golden brown and has just come away from the side of the baking tin. Switch off the oven and leave the cake inside the oven for another hour.
d. Once you have removed the cheesecake from the oven, immediately sprinkle the pecan crunch evenly over the cheesecake. Let cool completely at room temperature before transferring to the fridge and chill for at least 3 - 4 hours but preferably overnight. Before serving, remove the cake from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.