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Let's Make Dessert! Classic Cheesecake with Sweet Potato and Pecan Caramel Topping

December 28, 2020 02:35 PM
By: Admin

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​Presented by Van French, Assistant Executive Pastry Chef

The Hotel Hershey 

Hershey, PA 

Yield: 1, 10" x 3" cheesecake 



8 oz. graham cracker, crushed 

4 oz. unsalted butter, melted 

4 oz. granulated sugar 

Cheesecake Filling 

32 oz. cream cheese, room temperature 

13 oz. granulated sugar 

¼ tsp. salt 

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract 

3 oz. heavy cream, room temperature 

3 oz. sour cream, room temperature 

6 large eggs, room temperature 


Sweet Potato Layer 

1, 15 oz. can sweet potatoes 

2/3 cup half and half 

½ cup brown sugar 

1 tsp. orange zest 

½ tsp. ground cinnamon 

¼ tsp. ground ginger 

¼ tsp. fresh grated nutmeg 

1/8 tsp. salt 

2 eggs 


Preheat an oven to 350°F. 

For the crust, combine the graham crackers, melted butter and sugar together in a bowl and mix by hand until blended. Place parchment paper into the bottom of a spring form pan. Place the graham cracker filling on top of the paper, pressing the filling tightly in the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool and proceed to make cheesecake filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 335°F. 

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and cream on low until smooth and lump free. Add the sugar and continue to cream until smooth and no lumps. Scrape down the sides of bowl to ensure there are no lumps. Add the sour cream and heavy cream and blend on low until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time on low, waiting until they are completely blended before adding the next. Scrape the bowl after each addition. 

Wrap two layers of tin foil around the spring form pan and fold down the top edges. Make sure there are no tears or holes. Add the cheesecake batter on top of the crust and freeze until firm to the touch. 

Prepare the sweet potato layer. Place the sweet potatoes in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add the sweet potato mixture on top of the firm cheesecake batter. 

Bake for 60 minutes or until the center reaches an internal temperature of 150°F. Add the Pecan Caramel Topping, recipe follows, to the top and allow to rest before slicing. 


Pecan Caramel Topping 

2 cups sugar 

½ cup water 

1 cup heavy cream 

4 oz. unsalted butter, cut into chunks 

½ cup sour cream 

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 

Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt) 

3 cups chopped pecans, roasted 

In a medium saucepot, cook the sugar and water until a deep amber color. Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream. Mix to combine. Add the butter and sour cream and mix to combine. Add the lemon juice, fleur de sel, and fold in the chopped pecans. 

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