For the monthly cakes in November I had originally thought of making a pecan pie as a nod to Thanksgiving, but most my colleagues it seemed had actually been celebrating Thanksgiving so a pecan pie didn’t seem as such a good idea anymore.
I still wanted to make something similar and looking through a cookbook at home, I found the perfect compromise – a butterscotch pecan cheesecake.
It basically tastes like a pecan pie, pairing the nuts with the butterscotch, but in the form of a cheesecake. Genius!
Butterscotch pecan cheesecake, serves 10
Adapted from a Hummingbird Bakery recipe from the book Cake Days.
220 g digestives
100 g melted butter
700 g full-fat cream cheese
120 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
80 g pecans, finely chopped. Plus 10-12 pecan halves, to decorate.
60 g butter
45 g soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp whole milk
120 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line the base of the cake tin with baking parchment, then, in a food processor, mix the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs have the consistency of wet sand. Press them into the vase of the tin, then either place in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes or bake the base for 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool before adding the cheesecake mixture.
Using a hand-held whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the chopped pecans by hand and then pour the cheesecake mix on to the biscuit base.
Wrap the cake tin in tin foil and place in a roasting tin. Fill with water to about 5 mm from the top of the cake tin, creating a water bath,to prevent the cake cracking on top while cooking. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the cheesecake is a light golden colour, especially aronud the edges, firm to the touch and with only a slight wobble in the middle. (It is possible to bake the cake without a water bath on a lower heat keeping an eye on it all the way through, but I would only recommend that to experienced bakers. You need to know exactly when to take it out.)
Allow the cheesecake to cool down to room temperature, and then place in the fridge to set for a few hours. When the cheesecake is fully chilled, make the butterscotch glaze.
Put the butter, light brown sugar and milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the icing sugar and vanilla essence, then whisk until the glaze is smooth. Pour the glaze on top of the cheesecake and let it set for a few more hours. Decorate the top with the pecan halves. Remove from the cake tin before serving.