Maple syrup cheesecake with caramel pecans

For a truly scrumptious dessert, try Bill McCarrick's maple syrup-flavoured cheesecake, topped with crushed caramelised pecans
Maple syrup cheesecake with caramel pecans
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus setting
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 175 g digestive biscuits
  • 25 g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1.5 tbsp clear honey
  • 200 g full-fat cream cheese
  • 175 g maple syrup
  • 2 sheets leaf gelatine, soaked in cold water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 pinches cream of tartar
  • 15 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml lightly whipped cream

For the caramel pears

  • 175 g granulated sugar
  • 115 g pecans, halved
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

1. Place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and grind into fine crumbs.


2. Add the melted butter, nutmeg and honey, and pulse in the food processor to mix well.3. Turn the crumb mixture out into a 23cm diameter x 4cm deep loose-based cake tin or flan ring and press well into the bottom of the tin using a teaspoon. Don't push the crumbs down too tightly though, or you will end up with a heavy base. Chill well for 1-2 hours.4. Beat the cream cheese and maple syrup together in a food mixer on a slow speed for about 10 minutes, or until light and soft.5. Lift the gelatine out of the water and heat to dissolve. Keep warm.6. Lightly whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar, then add the caster sugar and beat to a soft foam without letting the egg whites turn grainy. 7. The next stages should be done as quickly as possible or the cheesecake might set before you have time to pour it over the flan base.8. Quickly beat the warm melted gelatine into the cream cheese, add the lightly whipped cream mixture, and blend quickly, before folding in the egg whites.9. Pour the mixture over the chilled biscuit base, tap the tin to settle the mixture and chill well, if possible, overnight. When the mixture is just set carefully cover with clingfilm.10. To make the caramel pecans, oil a non-stick baking tray. Place the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and add enough cold water just to cover the sugar.12. Cook on a high heat; the syrup will thicken and start to turn a very pale amber.13. Continue to cook the caramel until the mixture has turned a dark amber colour.14. Add the pecans, take off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon to coat the nuts thoroughly.15. When the nuts are ready add the lemon juice and stir well. Immediately pour the carmelised nuts on to the oiled tray and spread out using a wooden spoon. Leave to cool completely. 16. To serve the cheesecake, uncover and pop the cheesecake out of the flan ring or tin, and then cut into 6-8 wedges.19. Break the caramel pecans up into small pieces, place in a food processor and process until you have a chunky powder, not too fine.20. Sprinkle the nut powder over the cheesecake and serve each slice with a dollop of crème fraiche on the side.

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