I had great intentions to bake along with the Great British Bake Off this season, creating my own sneaky veg version of each week’s bake. The show’s coinciding with the summer holidays though has made this tricky and I haven’t managed to find the time to do this every week.
This week though, I managed it. The theme was desserts and I decided to create a sweet potato cheesecake recipe. It’s not three-tiered, as the contestants on the show had to make, but I’m pretty pleased with it nonetheless.
Several years ago I met a Spanish woman called Maria at our local library’s baby song time session. There had been an earthquake in Spain that week and despite my horrific pronunciation of the word “terremoto” we struck up conversation and became friends. She made a Spanish baked cheesecake for us one Sunday afternoon in their flat. They’ve now moved back to Spain and we have lost touch, but luckily she gave me her recipe before they left. This sweet potato cheesecake recipe is adapted from that. It’s not as sweet as you might be used to. Maria’s original recipe included 125g sugar as well, so you could always add that in too – I haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty sure it would work out ok. Her recipe didn’t include a biscuit base.
For the base
180g digestive biscuits, crushed
90g melted butter
1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
For the filling
3 large eggs
200g cream cheese
125ml natural yoghurt
125g plain flour
2-4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
250g cooked and puréed sweet potato
NB: see note in intro above about sugar
For the pecan topping
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g broken pecan nuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease an 8 inch/20cm loose bottom cake tin. A spring form tin would be ideal if you have one.
Mix the melted butter, biscuits and honey or syrup in a large bowl, then press into the bottom of the tin.
Place all the filling ingredients in a clean bowl and beat until well combined. Pour over the biscuit base. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour until firm to the touch.
Allow to cool completely in the tin and then remove carefully.
To make the topping, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add the sugar, vanilla and nuts and stir well until the sugar has caramelised and lost it’s grainy look. Cool then place on the top of the cheesecake.
Chill until ready to serve.
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