What do you get when you cross the quintessential Greek dessert with one of the most popular all-time classic desserts, period? Simple… Baklava Cheesecake. Spruce up your next feast and try your luck and skills at this mouth-watering, finger-licking good dessert.
60g (1/3 cup) blanched almonds, toasted
Melted butter, to grease
55g (1/3 cup) dry-roasted hazelnuts
40g (1/4 cup) walnut crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 x 250g (1 cup) packets of cream cheese, at room temperature
300g (1 & 1/3 cup) sour cream
155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
10 sheets filo pastry
110g (1/2 cup) butter
For the melted honey syrup…
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
160ml (2/3 cup) water
125ml (1/2 cup) honey
1 cinnamon stick
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake almonds on a baking tray for 5-8 minutes or until toasted.
Meanwhile, to make the honey syrup, stir the sugar, water, honey and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, for 15 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Discard cinnamon. Set aside to cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 160°C (320°F). Release the base from a 22cm/9-inch (base measurement) springform pan and invert. Brush with melted butter. Line the base with non-stick baking paper, allowing the edge to overhang. Secure the base back into the pan.
Process the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the walnut and cinnamon. Add 60ml (1/4 cup) honey syrup to the nut mixture and stir to combine.
Process cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in the clean bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, and process until combined.
Place filo on a clean work surface. Cover with a dry tea towel, then a damp tea towel. Brush 1 filo sheet with some melted butter. Fold in half crossways. Place in the pan, allowing it to overhang slightly. Repeat with the remaining filo and melted butter, turning and overlapping each sheet slightly to line the pan completely (see related article).
Pour half the cream cheese mixture over filo. Top with half the nut mixture. Repeat with the remaining cream cheese mixture and nut mixture (see related article). Fold the overhanging filo over the filling to partially enclose (see related article). Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until just set in center. Turn oven off. Leave cheesecake in oven, with door slightly ajar, until cooled completely. Place in the fridge for 6 hours to chill. Drizzle over remaining syrup to serve.
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