I got this wonderful recipe from a bed and breakfast my hubby and I stayed at. It is always a hit every time I make it! Garnish with caramel or chocolate sauce if desired.
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix well and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Pour on melted caramel/pecan mixture and chill for 30 minutes.
To make the Caramel Filling: In a small saucepan, combine caramels and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Stir in chopped pecans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold 1/3 of the filling into the melted chocolate, then pour the chocolate mixture back into the filling and mix until no streaks remain. Pour into crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until center is almost set. Place a pan of water on rack underneath cheesecake as it bakes to help keep it from cracking. Cool in oven with door cracked open. Refrigerate at least 5 hours before serving.
Per Serving: 624 calories; protein 9.3g; carbohydrates 59.8g; fat 41.1g; cholesterol 130.5mg; sodium 387.4mg.