What an awesome finale to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
Ingredients for cake:
1 1/4 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (use chocolate if you prefer)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2/3 cups evaporated milk
2 tbsp. All-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. Frangelico liquor (or pure vanilla)
1 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted
Ingredients for topping:
1 cup Steen’s Cane Syrup (or dark corn syrup)
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. Frangelico (or vanilla)
Ingredients for whipped cream:
1 cup whipping cream, chilled (or heavy whipping cream if you want)
2 tsp. Steen’s Cane Syrup (or molasses, sorghum, or dark corn syrup)
1/2 tsp. Frangelico (or vanilla)
Lay 1 1/2 cups pecan halves in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler for no more than 5 minutes, stirring once midway through until lightly toasted. Finely chop 1/2 cups of the toasted pecans and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.
In the bowl of electric mixer, combine cracker crumbs, sugar, and chopped pecans. Add the melted butter and process on medium until combined. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan, then press the crumb mixture over the bottom. Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350°.
Beat together the cream cheese, brown sugar, evaporated milk, flour and Frangelico (or vanilla) until smooth. Add the eggs all at once, and beat in just until blended; do not over stir. Pour into baked crust. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then loosen the sides by sliding a knife blade around the interior wall of the pan. Carefully remove rim from pan and let cool completely. Arrange the toasted pecan halves atop the cheese cake.
Combine the syrup, cornstarch, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add Frangelico (or vanilla). Let cool a few minutes or until serving time. Spoon the sauce over the pecan halves on top of cake.
For whipped cream:
Using chilled beaters and a large chilled bowl, beat the whipping cream with an electric beater on highest speed until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add syrup and beat until thick peaks form, about 2 more minutes. Add Frangelico (or vanilla), and beat for one more minute. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Spoon dollops over slices of the cheesecake.