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Baklava Cheese cake, I beg your puddin’?


While I’m a cakeaholic in general, cheesecake is my true love. I prefer it baked but I’ll eat it any way you make it. I love searching the net to get inspiration and every now and then I strike gold!

When I came across this nugget, I yelled eureka! I couldn’t wait to make my own version.

I have been wanting to make this baklava cheese cake FOR EVER. So, several months ago, into the kitchen I went and I began to explore. It honestly didn’t take too long before I came up with this scrumptious recipe. Now, to be fair I have said it before, cheesecakes are not really cakes at all, they are really a pudding, hence the title, so it’s really easy to play around with them, unlike cakes which are a finely tuned chemical processes. Anyway, this gorgeous-looking dessert turned out beautifully.

Your taste buds will be tantalised by the fusion of Philadelphia cream cheese, yoghurt and sour cream wrapped in flaky phyllo pastry, topped with nuts and crushed flaky phyllo pastry. Add a healthy drizzle of fragrant, sweet rosewater, throw in cinnamon, freshly grated lemon zest and your senses will be celebrating together.


I made this creamy indulgence for my brother and sister-in-law’s house warming party and it was a hit, (especially with me). What can I say, when I love something, even if it’s something I’ve made, I have no problem to let anyone who will listen know about it. We had quite a banquet at this big gathering but this baby stole the show. Making it was a labour of love so it was a winner for all concerned.


Tips

Tips

I always prepare cheesecake a day ahead.

All ingredients need to be at room temperature

Once the cake is ready, don’t open the oven door for at least 3 hours

To decorate I used 38 pistachios and a handful of baked filo pastry

I let the pastry hang over the side and when I trimmed it I crushed the trimming together with the pistachios




Ingredients

For cake

6 extra large eggs

Pinch of salt

200g Castor sugar

1 packet instant pudding vanil

80gm cornflour

2 teaspoons V.E

50gm vanillin sugar (2 bags)

zest of 1/2 a lemon

250gm Philadelphia cheese

500gm natural yoghurt

400gm sour cream


For the pastry

10-12 sheets filo pastry

80g-100gm unsalted butter


for the base

1 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/3 cup crushed pistachios

1/3 cup crushed walnuts

2 ¼ tablespoons sugar



For the Syrup

250mls water

200gm sugar

1 cinnamon stick

A slice of lemon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 whole cloves

1 – 1 ½ teaspoons rosewater (depending on how much you like rosewater)

Or you can use orange blossom water.


For the topping

150mls cream (which Is optional. I love cream so I used it to decorate the cake but It’s probably not necessary.)

Crushed filo pastry from the pastry that over hanged

A handful of crushed pistachio nuts


Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven 160C

Place boiling water in ovenproof dish and place at the bottom of the oven.


Step 2

Make the Syrup

With the exception of the rosewater, place all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until syrup has thickened, 15 minutes (set your timer, you don’t want it to go hard, so keep an eye on it!)

Remove from the heat and stir in rosewater. Set aside. Once it has cooled down, remove the slice of lemon, cinnamon stick and cloves.


Step 3

Prepare the pastry

Melt butter in a microwave-proof bowl

Using a basting brush, lightly brush a 25cm springform cake tin with melted butter. Unroll the filo pastry and lightly butter one sheet of pastry, fold it in half and butter again (don’t be heavy handed with the butter) fold the pastry in half again and brush with butter for the last time. Place the folded pastry across the bottom of the cake tin and up the side, letting the remainder of the pastry hang over the edge of the cake tin. (You can trim it off if you want to. I used the hanging pastry to decorate the top of the cake.)

Take a second sheet of pastry and repeat the process. This time when you place the folded pastry place it so it’s overlapping the pastry that is already in the cake tin.

Repeat the process until the cake tin is fully covered with pastry and all the exposed pastry is brushed with butter.


Step 4

Prepare the nuts

Mix the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and spoon mixture evenly onto the bottom of the cake tin.


Step 5

Make the cake

Separate the egg whites and yolks.

Using a standalone mixer or a handheld mixer, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy, add sugar a tablespoon at a time until soft peak forms and set aside.

In a separate large size bowl, with a handheld mixer or a standalone mixer, mix the remaining cheese cake ingredients until smooth.

Gently fold whisked egg whites into the cheese mixture, in thirds.

Place cake in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Turn the oven off and leave it in the oven for 3 hours.

Take cake out of the oven and let it reach room temperature, then place in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

Break the overhanging pastry and crush into a bowl.

Remove the cake from the cake tin and place on desired serving dish.

Pour 3/4 of the syrup.

If using cream, whip the cream, using a handheld mixer or a standalone mixer. spread the cream on top of the cake.

Gently sprinkle the crushed filo pastry any way you like. (I sprinkled it around the edge of the cake.) Gently sprinkle the crushed pistachio nuts on top.

Serve with remaining syrup.



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