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Salted Caramel Pecan Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

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I would like to preface this post by saying thank goodness for technology and the iPhone. When I made this recipe, I was not in my own kitchen (or even anywhere remotely close to home), and had made the tactical error of leaving my camera behind.

iPhone to the rescue!

I mentioned last week that my daddy’s birthday was this past Sunday. Now, don’t let that post fool you – he definitely did not get the short end of the stick when it came to special birthday dishes. Of course I wasn’t going to let his {you don’t really think I’m going to tell you how old he is, do you?} birthday pass without making sure he got a special dessert created just for him.

I’m sure you have figured out by now that my love of food is definitely an inherited trait. But what you may not realize is that, while my love of cooking comes from my mother’s side of the family, a great deal of my love of eating comes from my daddy. I can’t think of another person who loves food as much as he does, and, more than that, he truly, deeply loves my food. And he truly, deeply loves and supports this blog, and although I’m sure there are days when he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what I’m talking about, he still diligently reads my posts and emails me to tell me how much he is looking forward to trying different recipes.

In case you were wondering, he has been that supportive of everything I have done in life. Everyone should be so blessed to have their daddy as their biggest fan.

And so, what special dessert was I going to make for the man who loves everything but deserves something extra special? Well, I knew it needed to be sweet, but I also knew he would like something with a little salty contrast to it, too. He loves pecans, and pretty much anything covered in caramel or any sort of sauce (he could happily survive off of the sauce that accompanies this cake).

BAM! I’ve got it! A sweet Greek yogurt cheesecake (I seriously am never going back to my old cheesecake ways) on a pretzel crust, paired with a strong, almost bitter salted caramel and topped with toasted pecans. A perfect balance of sweet and salty, decadent and light.

Birthday dessert success.

Salted caramel recipe from Joy the Baker.

Salted Caramel Pecan Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake
For the salted caramel:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the crust:
  • 1½ cups crushed pretzels
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
  • 2 cups full-fat or partial-fat Greek yogurt (NOT fat free!)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For assembly:
  • ⅓ cup pecan halves
  • ¼-1/3 cup chopped pecans
First, make the salted caramel:
  1. Add sugar, water and corn syrup to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Allow to boil, continuing to stir, until the sugar just starts to brown. Once it has reached a medium amber color, remove from heat. (Be careful, sugar will continue to brown slightly after removing from the heat and will go from perfect to burned very quickly. You are better to remove it too early and place it back on the heat for a moment than to remove it too late!)
  2. Immediately add heavy cream and butter. Caramel will bubble and foam - keep stirring until well incorporated. Add salt and stir well to incorporate.
  3. Place caramel in a bowl. It may seem thin at this point, but will thicken considerably as it cools. Cover with wax paper or parchment and place in the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours.
Next, make the cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the crushed pretzels and the melted butter. Press into the bottom and about ½ inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until the crust is just starting to lightly brown.
  3. While the crust is baking, combine the ingredients for the filling in a blender, processing until smooth.
  4. Pour filling into the hot, baked crust. Return to the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Cheesecake is done when the center is still slightly jiggly but has a "done" look to it and the edges have started to pull away from the side of the pan. Be careful not to over-bake.
  5. Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight before assembling.
To assemble:
  1. Toast pecans at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant. Cool.
  2. Remove cheesecake from spring-form pan.
  3. Check your caramel. It may be too thick to spread. If so, reheat it in the microwave at 15-second intervals, just until it is warm enough to spread over the top of the cheesecake.
  4. Working quickly (before your caramel cools again), spread the caramel over the top of the cheesecake. Place pecan halves around the edges of the cheesecake, and use the chopped pecans to fill in the center of the ring.
  5. Place back in the fridge until ready to serve.
A note about the crust: The first day we ate this, the crust was somewhat crumbly. The second day, however, it was pretty much perfect. If you are planning to make and serve this the same day, you may want to add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of butter to the crust to make it less crumbly. Otherwise, allowing it to set overnight before assembling and serving should help keep it from being too crumbly.

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Saturday 10th of November 2012

My mom says this is "wrong beyond wrongness." We will be having it for Thanksgiving dessert :)


Saturday 10th of November 2012

Haha! Love it. :-)


Saturday 3rd of November 2012

Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. This is my favorite blog post of the week.

Amy (Savory Moments)

Saturday 3rd of November 2012

There are so many things I LOVE about this cheesecake. I've never had one made with Greek yogurt, but it sounds good. It looks insanely delicious! Wow!