Bobby Flay's Pecan Praline Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers - about 25 squares
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pecan Praline Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
6 large eggs
1 cup whole toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 325ºF. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and just set. Let cool. When cool, wrap the outside of the pan
with two 18-inch-square pieces of heavy-duty foil; set the spring form pan in a roasting pan.
Pecan Praline Sauce:
Place the water in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan; pour the sugar in the center of the pan, taking care not to let the sugar crystals adhere to the sides of the pan. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat; once boiling, uncover and continue to boil until the sugar syrup is thick and straw-colored, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the syrup is deep amber, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the cream and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan with the sugar syrup from the heat; very carefully pour about one quarter of hot cream into it (the mixture will
bubble vigorously), and let the bubbling subside. Add the remaining cream and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and add in the cold butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let cool for 20 minutes.
In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula; add salt and about half of sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; beat in remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Add whole eggs two at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, and scraping bowl between additions. Give the batter a final scrape, stir with a rubber spatula, and
pour into the prepared spring form pan set inside of a roasting pan.
Carefully pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center jiggles slightly and the sides just start to puff, 55 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon handle; allow the cake to cool in the water bath in the oven for 1 hour. Transfer the spring form pan without the foil to a wire rack; run a small paring knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake, and cool the cake to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover and then refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
To unmold cheesecake, remove sides of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, and then slide cake onto serving plate. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. Spread 3/4 of the pecan praline sauce over the top of the cheesecake allowing some of it to run down the sides of the cake. Scatter the toasted pecans over the top of the cake and drizzle the pecans with the remaining sauce.