Monday, June 18, 2012

Decadent Turtle Cheesecake with Pecan Shortbread Crust

6 TBS butter, softened
1 c. flour
1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. ground pecans

1/2 c. premium quality caramel topping
1 TBS flour 1/3 c. pecan pieces (broken small)

1/2 c. 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
1 c. reserved cheesecake batter

4 - 8oz packages of Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 c. flour
2 TBS cold whipping cream
2 tsp pure vanilla
4 large eggs

1/2 c. 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. premium quality caramel topping

Preheat oven to 325. Place one rack on bottom level, one in center. Lightly butter the sides only of a 9-in. springform pan. Place on a double thickness square of heavy-duty foil. Securely wrap foil around bottom & sides (about 1/4 inch up) of pan.

In a small bowl, soften butter (do NOT melt); add the flour, brown sugar and pecans; mix with fork until crumbly. Gently press onto the bottom of prepared springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven & set to cool slightly on wire rack.

Pour water into an 8-inch metal pie pan until half full. Place on bottom rack of oven after baked crust is removed. (This will keep the cheesecake from cracking when it bakes.)

In 2 c. ceramic bowl, melt 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips in microwave. (Remove when a few chips remain whole & stir until well melted.) Set aside to cool.

In small bowl, mix 1/2 c. caramel topping and 1 TBS flour together until smooth; stir in pecan pieces. Set aside.

In a large electric mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars on medium speed until smooth & creamy. Add flour, whipping cream & vanilla; beat until well combined & smooth. Add eggs one at a time; beating on low speed of mixer until well blended.

Remove 1 c. batter; stir gently into melted chocolate until just evenly combined.

Gently spoon Caramel Layer evenly over warm crust; do not attempt to spread. Spoon chocolate batter over caramel layer, spreading evenly. Top with remaining batter. Place cheesecake pan on center rack of oven. Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears evenly dull. The top of the cheesecake should be at an even height & turning just lightly golden around the edges.

Remove cheesecake from oven & set on a wire rack to cool. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; cool 1-1/2 hours.

Make ganache layer. In 2 c. glass measuring cup, heat 1/4 whipping cream until very hot but not boiling. Quickly stir in remaining 1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips. Continue stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to keep smooth. When measuring cup is warm to the touch (no longer hot), spread ganache evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans. Drizzle remaining 1/2 c. of caramel topping over the top. Refrigerate several hours or overnight until cheesecake is well chilled. Carefully remove sides of springform pan.


1 comment:

jwright said...

That looks so good!!!! *I work at Bass Pecan Company every year they have a recipe contest for a chance to win $1000!
If you love baking with pecans you should check it out. Check out their Bass Pecan Recipe Blog for great recipes and the contest rules and entry!!