GoT: North of the Maple Wallnut Cheesecake
I know, I know, ANOTHER cheesecake?! Hey, come on guys! Walnuts are NOT an exciting ingredient! You know what is exciting? Cheesecake! So when daunted with the task of coming up with something for "North of the Wallnut" I knew what I had to do.
100 grams (¾ cup) graham cracker crumbs
200 + 75 grams (1 cup + 6 tablespoons) sugar, divided
83 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1134 grams or 2 ½ pounds cream cheese
27 grams (3 tablespoons) flour
166 grams (½ cup) grade A medium amber maple syrup
2 egg yolks
58 grams (¼ cup) heavy cream
1 teaspoon cornstarch
113 grams or 4 ounces walnut halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, mix the graham-cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and stir with a fork to combine. Grease the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and sprinkle it with the cracker mixture, shaking any excess back into the bowl. Add the melted butter to the bowl and toss with a fork until the butter has moistened the crumb mixture. Scatter the crumbs evenly over the pan bottom and press into it using the bottom of a straight-sided glass. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool. Raise the heat in the oven to 500 degrees F.
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is soft and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix the flour with the remaining sugar and add it and half the maple syrup to the cheese in thirds, mixing after each addition. Add the eggs and the yolks to the batter one by one, beating after each addition. Add the heavy cream and mix again. Pour the batter into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven to 200 degrees F and bake for an hour more. Turn off the oven, leave the door halfway open and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for a half-hour. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours and not more than 24.
When ready to serve, heat the remaining maple syrup over low heat in a small saucepan until it bubbles and let simmer gently for 1 minute until it has thickened slightly. Whisk in the cornstarch and turn off the flame. Add the walnuts and turn to coat. Spread them out on a piece of parchment paper to cool and harden into praline, then sprinkle over the cheesecake.