BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT! I make this for myself almost every year for my birthday. It's from the cookbook Diner Desserts, by Tish Boyle. This is the best cookbook you will ever have, people! Here's the link for it on Amazon. Some of the best money I've ever spent - I promise. Enjoy!
1/3 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 3/4 lbs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 TBS cornstarch, sifted
1/2 c. sour cream
4 large eggs
2/3 c. heavy cream
1 TBS vanilla
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. pecan pieces, toasted (spread in cookie sheet, bake @ 350 for 5-10 minutes. Shake pan a few times while baking. Allow to cool before using).
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 c. heavy cream
1. To make cheesecake filling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Dust with graham cracker crumbs and tap out excess.
2. In an electric mixer, using the paddle or beaters attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch and mix until combined. Add the sour cream, mixing on low speed just until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix until blended.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 225 degrees ane bake an additional 60-70 minutes, or just until the center no longer looks wet. Turn the oven off (without opening the door) and leave the cake in the closed oven for an additional hour. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 hours before making the topping.
4. To make the caramel topping, measure out the heavy cream and have it ready near the stove. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it turns a dark amber. (I actually only let it become medium amber.) Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the heavy cream (it will bubble vigorously). Return the pan to medium heat and stir just until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Scrape the topping into a medium bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until it is a spreadable consistency.
5. Remove the side of the springform pan from the cake. Using a small offset metal spatula, spread the caramel topping over the top and sides of the cheesecake, covering it completely. Press the toasted pecans around the side of the cake. Refrigerate the cake while you make the chocolate drizzle.
6. To make the chocolate drizzle, place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water and heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and separate the top pan from the bottom. Let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is just warm.
7. Scrape the chocolate into a small, sealable plastic bag and seal the bag. Cut a very small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag (better too small than too large). Drizzle the top of the cake with the chocolate mixture, using it all. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.
Voila! Heaven on a plate! Sorry I don't have a picture - next time I make it, I'll make sure to get one and post it!