Bake sweet potatoes 1 hour or until knife inserted in centers goes through easily; remove from oven and let cool slightly. Peel and puree in blender or food processor. After cooking the sweet potatoes, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Transfer 1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree to a large bowl. Add cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and whipping cream; beat, on low speed, just until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. NOTE: Do not over beat the mixture. You want to avoid beating air into the mixture. Too much air will make the cheesecake fall.
Pour sweet potato filling into prepared graham cracker crust, using the back of a spoon to spread evenly over the crust (this helps get rid of any extra air bubbles).
Place cheesecake in center of middle oven rack. Position a baking pan filled halfway with hot water on lower rack. Bake approximately 1 1/4 hours or until edges are light brown and center is almost set. NOTE: There should be no wet spots or liquid areas in the center of the cheesecake. Remember that a cheesecake continues to cook when it is removed from the oven.
How to tell when cheesecake is done cooking: The cheesecake is done when center is almost set, but jiggles slightly when gently shaken. For a perfect cheesecake, use a cooking thermometer and take it out of the oven when the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees F. at the center to avoid over baking. Expect a slight shrinkage as it cools. If there is great shrinkage, you have baked it at too high a heat.
How to prevent cracks in your cheesecake: When the internal temperature of a cheesecake rises beyond 160 degrees F. while baking, it will always crack. To prevent this from happening, use an instant-read cooking thermometer to test its doneness. Take it out of the oven when the cheesecake reaches 150 degrees F. at the center to avoid over baking.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.
Turn oven off. Let cake stand in oven, with door ajar, 30 minutes or until center is completely set. Remove from oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack.
NOTE: A wonderful looking baked cheesecake (with no cracks), can crack as it sits on the cooling rack because the cake shrank during cooling and clung to the sides of the springform pan. To avoid this from happening, cool the cheesecake for only a few minutes, and then, using a paring knife, free it from the sides of the pan before allowing it to cool completely.
Prepare Nut Topping (see recipe below). Pour hot Topping over slightly cooled cheesecake.
Cool cheesecake completely on a wire rack before refrigerating. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours before cutting (the cheesecake will solidify to a perfect consistency during this time).
To serve, slide a small knife around edge of cake to loosen it and remove sides of the springform pan; transfer onto a cake plate.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and position rack in center of oven (too high or too low of rack placement will cause baking problems). Lightly grease (butter) a 9-inch springform pan.
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix well and press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 7 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from oven and cool crust completely on a wire rack.
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, combine brown sugar and butter; stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; remove from heat and mix in whipping cream and pecans. Pour hot topping over baked cheesecake.
More Delicious Cheesecake Recipes:
Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl Cheesecake
This cheesecake is for serious chocophiles. Imagine the hazelnut spread on a bed of crunchy nuts and a piping hot cup of coffee - it's a sweet temptation.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Peanut butter and chocolate! This delightful combination of flavors will remind you of one of your favorite childhood candy bars.
Perfectly Plain Cheesecake
This is just a basic cheesecake recipe, but it can be used as the base for many other varieties. Change the crust, add some chocolate, or just get creative!
Never again make a pumpkin pie for the holiday. This cheesecake is absolutely wonderful. Let your family be the judge!