Banana-pecan cheesecake with caramel sauce - bon appetit

Yield: 10 to 12 serv

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Sugar
⅓ cup Water
1 cup Whipping cream
1½ cup Graham cracker crumbs
¾ cup Ground pecans
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons Packed golden brown sugar
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup Packed golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
4 larges Eggs
¾ cup Ground pecans
¼ cup Whipping cream
2 Firm but ripe bananas, peeled
1½ cup Whipping cream, lightly sweetened, whipped
Sliced bananas (opt.)



FOR SAUCE: Combine sugar and water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; boil until syrup is dark brown, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir over medium-low heat until smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Before using, rewarm over low heat.) FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap outside of 9-inch diameter spring- form pan with 2¾-inch-high sides with foil. Combine all ingredients in processor. Blend until moist clumps form. Press crumbs onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake 5 minutes; cool.

FOR CAKE: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in bowl until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla and 6 T caramel sauce; beat until blended.

Add eggs; beat until smooth. Mix in nuts and cream. Slice 2 bananas into ¼-inch-thick rounds; fold into batter. Transfer batter to crust. Bake cake until top is golden and center is sofdy set, about 1 hour 10 min- utes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill overnight.

Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Top cake with whipped cream and banana slices, if desired. Serve with remaining sauce.

Bon Appetit/Sept/94 Scanned & edited by Di Pahl & <gg>

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