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Christmas Countdown Recipes: Baklava Cheesecake

Christmas Countdown Recipes: Baklava Cheesecake

Kathy Tsaples

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to celebrate than with our first Christmas Recipe Advent Countdown! 3 days to go…

Baklava Cheesecake is the ultimate fusion of nutty crunch baklava and sweet soft cheesecake, encased in a flaky filo pastry.

Looks too good to eat!

Follow this easy Baklava Cheesecake recipe:

Ingredients

Honey syrup

  • 150g sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 180ml honey
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon

Nut filling

  • 100g walnuts
  • 70g blanched almonds
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp clove powder
  • Pinch of salt

Cheesecake

  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 100g melted or clarified butter
  • 10-14 sheets fillo
  • A large handful of kataifi pastry
  • ½ cup crushed pistachios
  • 2 tsp dried rose petals
Method

Honey syrup

  1. Bring all ingredients together in a medium saucepan for 25 minutes until thick and syrupy. Allow to cool.

Nut filling

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5-8 minutes in the oven.
  3. Let them cool, then chop them up roughly with a knife or in a food processor.
  4. Transfer nuts to a bowl and add ½ of the syrup, salt, clove powder and cinnamon. Stir and set aside.

Cheesecake

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, caster sugar, lemon zest and vanilla, followed by the eggs one at a time. Stir through the Greek yoghurt and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  3. Release the collar from an 18cm or 20cm springform pan. Tear off a sheet of baking paper and place over the base, then reattach the collar, allowing the baking paper to stick out the bottom edges.
  4. Place filo sheets on a clean surface and cover with a damp cloth. Take one sheet, brush with butter and lay the sheet inside the pan, buttered-side down, pushing into the sides and allowing one end of the pastry to overhang the top edge of the springform pan. Repeat process with until the bottom of the pan is completely covered by about 8-10 sheets of filo.
  5. Pour ½ of the cheesecake batter into the prepared tin lined with filo. Using a spoon, place drops of the nut filling on top of the cheesecake batter. Repeat with the remaining cheesecake batter and half of the remaining nut filling. Fold the overhanging fillo edges onto the cheesecake to cover. If the batter is still exposed on top, scrunch up a sheet of filo and place on top. Brush with melted butter and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until golden on top and set in the centre.
  6. Sprinkle the kataifi pastry on top and brush with butter. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden on top.
  7. While the cheesecake is still warm, pour over the remaining cooled syrup and top with crushed pistachios and rose petals.
  8. Leave to cool completely in the springform tin to set before serving.
Kathy Tsaples, living her ‘Sweet Greek’ dream
Christmas Countdown Recipes:
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