This moderately sweet and luscious Maple Walnut Cheesecake is a perfect dessert to celebrate the season of maple syrup or any other day of the year.
Hello, my friends. How did your Easter go? Did you have a lot of fun hunting Easter bunnies and eggs? Has your sugar level dramatically increased? And the most important question: would you consider having a slice of this Maple Walnut Cheesecake right now or you cannot stand sweets for a while?
Our Easter was nice and quiet. Nothing extraordinary. Rainy. And I restrained myself from making something unhealthy and sweet. All the savoury and unhealthy things instead.
Don’t get it wrong – we’re not on a diet or anything silly. I believe we balance our diet decently, but sometimes we just feel like being strong and not having any ice cream for a while (Like two or three days). There’s one exception – shall I suggest Andrey pasta, he’ll immediately wrap any plans up. There’s another exception: cheesecake. But we have agreed that cheesecake is a relatively healthy dessert because of all that cream cheese, protein, and calcium.
Anyway, one day I asked what kind of dessert Andrey would like to have. The answer was simple but rather specific: a maple cheesecake. It sounded delicious. However, as maple syrup has a very subtle flavour itself, I wanted to accentuate it as much as possible. I did the following:
- Besides real maple syrup, I also used some artificial flavour. It is an optional step, but it brings in so much flavour;
- I used maple sandwich cookie with a maple filling combined with walnuts;
- I made candied maple walnuts for an extra crunch and flavour.
This Maple Walnut Cheesecake turned out delicious and almost perfect! Why almost? First, I wasn’t fully satisfied with the crust. The combination of chopped walnuts and sandwich cookies was tasty, but because of the filling, it was hard to predict the outcome. I added just a little bit of butter, but the crust turned out slightly oily and too crumbly that I would have desired. Indeed, few slices of the cheesecake partially lost their crust while transferring to the plates. But we are not too picky – we didn’t mind a few pieces of the crust laying not underneath but near the cheesecake.
The second thing is the texture of the cheesecake, as I believe thanks to a good portion of maple syrup, was very light and airy, almost like a mousse. Do you see that coloration in photos where the upper layer of the cream cheese looks more dense and dark? That might be because of the maple syrup and its caramelization. We liked this texture very much, and it’s probably a good option for a spring cake. Just be informed that it’s not that normally dense. However, the next day we noticed the texture had set better. On the third day, when we were finishing the leftovers, it finally had the texture most of us expect.
But I am not suggesting to wait that long. What I suggest is to make this Maple Walnut Cheesecake as soon as possible and probably eat in one sitting. Remember: it’s a healthy dessert!
- About 20 maple sandwich cookies (about 300 gr.) – or substitute regular digest biscuits
- About 1 cup walnuts (1/2 cup finely chopped)
- 2 to 4 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1000 gr. plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- maple flavour, optional
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 3 tbsp. maple
- 4 tbsp. light brown sugar
- cinnamon, optional
- In a food processor combine the walnuts and sandwich cookies until crumbles. Add the melted butter starting with 2 tbs. and adding more if needed (It depends how moist the filling of the cookies is).
- Press the mixture into a 25 cm (10 inches) springform pan. Bake the crust for about 7-8 minutes at about 170 degrees C (350 degrees F) then remove from the oven and completely cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees C (300 F). Place a pan filled with water on the lower rack of the oven.
- In meanwhile, in a large bowl beat with an electric mixer on low speed the cream cheese with the maple syrup, flavour (if using), and sugar for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has incorporated. Try and add more sugar if not sweet enough.
- Add the eggs (one at a time) and beat 1 minute to incorporate.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Slightly tap the pan a few times around the bottom – this will help to release the bubbles and decrease the possibility of cracking it.
- Place the cheesecake in the oven and reduce the temperature to 140 degrees C.
- Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour. Check the cheesecake – the edges of the cheesecake should look firm and set while the center remains slightly fudgy. If it doesn’t look like that yet, bake it for another 5-10 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and leave the cheese for another 10-15 minutes inside (You can open the door if you’re afraid of overcooking it).
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let completely cool. Refrigerate overnight then lose the baking pan and, using the help of a knife if necessary, release the cheesecake.
- For the maple walnuts, in a pan melt the butter, maple syrup, and sugar and let caramelize 2-3 minutes. Add the walnuts and cinnamon and cook a few minutes over low medium heat, until thickened.
- Let cool a bit then remove and spread on parchment in a single layer. Let it completely cool and set then crumble.
- Serve the cheesecake with the maple walnuts.