brandy cheese cake with caramelized pecans – gluten-free

We’re back!

It feels like we’ve been gone a life time. I think in all honesty, we probably have been.

Ok ok ok ok fine, I exaggerate everything. I know this. Maybe I should just explain.

It was time for us to make a couple changes to the site. Now, whilst I know that currently you can’t see any of those changes, they are in fact working away behind the scenes. Silently taking effect.

There’s more though. Not only have changes been happening in the technical background, but life changes have been occurring too! Want to take a guess?

Actually, there’s no time for guessing. There’s far too much to catch up on. So here it is…

I moved to London!

I can’t believe I just said that out-loud, but it’s true. This bless-full event happened on Friday evening. As in the Friday that just passed. As in, three days ago.

Big change huh? I can barely believe it myself if we’re being truthful about it. Still, I’m a firm believer that change is a good thing. Or can be a good thing. Haven’t figured it all out yet. There are plans in the works though to try & attend ‘Le Cordon Bleu‘ cooking school though. I suppose I should really get a move on & see if I can make that happen since the course starts in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. Time to get a move on.

Whilst all these big, life changing things have been happening & all has been silent & still on the blog front… things have been happening in my kitchen. I’ve been working away like a mad woman obsessing over textures, flavors, colours & more. Don’t worry, you were never forgotten about. Never in a million years. So here we are. First day back & I’ve got magic up my sleeve.

Can I hear you say “brandy & caramelized pecan cheese cake“? Oh yes please. Aaaaand my pretties, it’s gluten free too. Oh how sweet life is.

So here it is. A treasure that I’ve been sitting on just waiting for the day I could bring it to your attention once again. And no, I didn’t actually sit on it, that would have been messy.

Ingredients, pastry:
– 170g buckwheat flour
– 60g unsalted butter, room temp
– 2 egg yolks
– 0.50 lemon, zest only
– 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
– 120g sugar

Directions, pastry:
1. combine the ingredients in a food processor & pulse until the dough starts to come together. If it remains crumbly, this is to be expected.
2. grease & line a 22cm spring-form cake tin with parchment.
3. reserve 10g of the dough & set aside. With the remaining dough, press it evenly into the bottom of the cake tin. Once done, place it into the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
4. preheat the oven to 170°C. Remove your cake tin from the fridge & using a fork, prick the crust all over. Blind bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove the weights & bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes.
5. Allow the crust to cool.
6. with the remaining pastry dough, form an edge/lip around the bottom edge of the cake tin approx. 1.5cm high. Set aside & prepare the filling.

Ingredients, filling:
– 44g corn flour
– 420g sugar
– 1,150g cream cheese, room temp
– 0.5 tbs orange zest
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 5 eggs
– 2 egg yolks
– 60ml sour cream
– 60ml brandy

Directions, filling:
1. preheat your oven to 250°C & if you have the option, put it on the ‘air/fan’ setting.
2. in a large bowl, combine the sugar, cream cheese, orange zest & vanilla. WIth an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until it’s all come together. Be careful not to over beat.
3. add in the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition to make sure it is incorporated. Again, do not beat the mixture more than you have to.
4. fold in the heavy cream & brandy.
5. pour the mixture into the cake tin, and place it in the centre of the oven. Bake it for 10 minutes at 250°C.
6. Leave the cheesecake in the oven & reduce the heat down to 115°C. Bake between 1 hour & 20 minutes, to 2 hours & 20 minutes. What you’re looking for is for the top of the cheese cake to turn slightly golden, and when the side it tapped it has a very firm jiggle.
7. Once the cheesecake is finished baking, turn the oven off & crack the door open. Leave the cheese cake inside to cool. Once cool, place the cheese cake in the fridge & leave over night.
8. top it with the caramelized pecans & serve.

Ingredients, pecans:
– 120g pecans
– 90g sugar

1. preheat the oven to 140°C. Line a baking tray with parchment & then spread the pecans evenly across the sheet.
2. bake for 15 minutes. Remove & allow to cool.
3. using a heavy bottomed saucepan, turn the stove on to medium heat & pour the sugar  into the pan in an even layer.
4. keep a very close eye on the sugar, but do not stir it under any circumstance. The sugar will begin to melt & start to turn a light amber colour. Once it starts to darken & turn a nice golden shade, add in the nuts & give it a quick stir to coat them & then pour the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
5. once cool, roughly chop the pecans & then place on top of the cheese cake.

Helpful tips:
*** the baking time of the cheese cake will vary depending upon your oven. Using the professional ovens at work would bake the cheese cakes in an hour & 20 in one, and an hour & 45 in the other. Using my oven at home, the cheese cake was taking the better part of two & a half hours to set properly. Bake the cheese cake for a hour & 20 to start with, and then set a timer to check on it every 15 minutes until it has reached the correct firmness.
*** you don’t want to stir the sugar whilst it’s turning to caramel because this will knock the sugar crystals together & change the texture as it cools.

…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.


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