Baklava Cheesecake – A Palava For Different Baklava.

I am not going to lie, this was a two day affair. You can’t make this in a rush and it is worth the effort. I got onto the idea of doing a baklava cheesecake after the success of the carrot cake cheesecake and it sounded like it would go well with the Indian Feast we were cooking for friends at home.

After several hours spent googling different recipes I hashed together a few ideas and took the best bits form various places. The recipes in google land vary greatly but I had a vision of what I wanted and I stuck to that.  It was a success and I am so looking forward to having another piece at some point today.

Don’t be frightened by the steps, take it slowly and it will all come together.

Baklavacheese

Baklava Cheesecake - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 8-10
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Sugar Syrup

1/2 c caster sugar

2/3 c water

1/2 c honey

1 cinnamon stick

Biscuits Base

200g  biscuits

80g butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

500g (2 x 250g Philadelphia) Cream Cheese

1/2 c caster Sugar

2 eggs

3/4 c plain yoghurt or Sour cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

Zest of one lemon

Nut Mix

2 c roasted nuts ( almonds, walnuts and pistachio)

1/2 c of the sugar syrup

1 tbsp cinnamon

20g melted butter

Phyllo Pastry

5 sheets of Phyllo pastry

1/2 c melted butter

Day 1-

Grease and line a 20cm spring form/loose bottom tin.

Sugar Syrup –

Do this first to give it some time to develop.

Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat, stir until you can’t feel the sugar anymore.

Allow to simmer without stirring until it thickens, around 15 minutes.

Leave to cool, remove cinnamon stick, decant and store in a cupboard.

Biscuits Base – 

Crush biscuits in a food processor

While the motor runs add the melted butter

Place the crumb mixture into the prepared tin and push up the sides of the tin and flatten on the bottom.

Cover and place in the fridge.

Nut Mixture –

Roast the nuts if they need it, takes about 10 minutes on a baking sheet at 180. Allow to cool.

Grind nuts so there is some coarseness left.

Mix ground nuts with cinnamon, sugar and melted butter.

Pour 1/2 c of the sugar syrup over the nuts and give them a stir.

Hide from yourself in a locked box!

Day 2-

Heat oven to 160

Cheesecake Filling

Beat room temperature cream cheese with sugar.

Add eggs, vanilla, yoghurt/sour cream , lemon zest and mix until until fluffy.

Put half of the filling onto the biscuit base, cover this with 1/2 nut mix.

Top with the remaining filling.

Phyllo Pastry

Make a 20cm circle out of greaseproof paper.

Cut 10 circles out of the pastry (fold sheets in half)

Brush 1 sheet with butter, place on top the filling.

Do this with 4 more sheets.

Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over the 5 pastry sheets.

Top with remaining pastry, brushed with butter.

Score lines going from just inside the edge to just before the centre, I managed eight.

Tip the remaining syrup slowly over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake for 1 – 1 hour 15 , until pastry is brown and the filling doesn’t wobble.

Allow to cool in the tin.

Refrigerate, remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.

I kept the cheesecake in the tin until just before serving, it was easy to remove from the tin and I sliced using the Phyllo Pastry cuts as a guide.

Enjoy.

 

This is impressive – Carrot Cake Cheesecake.

I had seen recipes for carrot cake cheesecake floating around the internet and I waited for the right time to come to make it. On Saturday night we went around the neighbours for dinner and I volunteered to take dessert, well desserts. One may have turned into three. Not only did I take the cheesecake but also chocolate truffles and forgotten cookies sandwiched with chocolate ganache.

Everything was great and the cheesecake was the star. It was eaten with happy noises and silence. I served it with The Collective’s Vanilla Custard Yoghurt.

IMG_3626

As I said above, I mashed up a few recipes and adjusted to weights and my tastes. I used a lot less icing on the top than others. I felt it was more just for show rather than something that needed to be thick and over powering. My main source was Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. She has very neat photos on her blog that show the cheesecake in all its glory.

IMG_3628

Not the flashes photo.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 8-12
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Cheesecake

450 g Cream cheese at room temp (Philadelphia 250 g x 2 packs)

1/2 c white sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp plain flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

Carrot Cake

3/4 c canola oil

1/4 c light brown sugar

3/4 c white sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 c plain flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp Allspice (or nutmeg/cloves mixed)

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup of grated carrot (2 small carrots)

Cream Cheese icing

50 g cream cheese (remains of packet)

20 g softened butter

1 c icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon sour cream

Pre-heat oven 170

Grease and line bottom of 8 inch (20cm)  loose bottom tin

60-70 minutes

Cheesecake 

Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour on high-speed until smooth

Add vanilla essence and sour cream stir until mixed.

Set aside

Carrot Cake

Beat oil and sugars until mixed and smooth

Add eggs, vanilla and beat until light and creamy

Stir in flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

Add carrots until mixed through.

Cream Cheese Icing

(Make this while the cheesecake is cooling)

Whip cream cheese and butter until creamy

Add icing sugar a little bit at a time

When it is lump free add vanilla and sour cream

To Assemble 

Spread roughly half of the carrot cake mixture on base of prepared tin.

Put spoonfuls of half the cheesecake mixture onto the top of the base

Then spoonfuls of carrot cake mix  (do not mix or swirl)

Top with remaining cheesecake mixture

Place tin on top of a baking sheet, give tin a little tap to get rid of air bubble

Place in centre of oven

Check for browning at 1 hour mark

If it is browning and not looking set cover the top with foil

It is ready when there is a little wobble left in a small circle in the centre but not sides.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin

When cool, make icing below, remove the cheesecake from the tin and top with icing.

 

White Chocolate and Ginger Cheesecake with Ginger Caramel Sauce



Ginger’s peppery flavor is the perfect foil for white chocolate. Here, the ginger is used in several forms, each contributing its own nuance: Crystallized ginger provides texture and a warm bite to the filling, gingersnaps are used for the crust, and ground ginger enhances both crust and filling. Begin making this dessert a day ahead.
The orignal recipe is on the link above.
And now for my tweeking…


Ingredients

CRUST
370 grms  gingersnap cookies (about 50 cookies)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled
FILLING
350 grms good-quality chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker’s), finely chopped
3  x 250 grm packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger

2/3 cup minced crystallized ginger

Preparation

FOR CRUST: Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Wrap outside of pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind cookies, sugar and ginger in processor. Add butter; blend until moist clumps form. Press onto bottom and up sides of pan. Chill while preparing filling.
FOR FILLING: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 300°F. Stir 300grams white chocolate in top of double boiler set over hot water until chocolate melts. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until fluffy, about 
3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla and ground ginger. Gradually beat in melted white chocolate. Stir in crystallized ginger and the remaining 50 grams of white chocolate broken into squares.

Transfer filling to prepared crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake puffs and edges crack slightly, about 1 1/2 hours.

 

Transfer cake to rack. Run small knife around sides of cake to loosen. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Chill cake overnight. (Can be prepared 
3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Release pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. 

Serve with this lovely sauce. I made it the day before and re-heated in the microwave.

Ginger Caramel Sauce

  1. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  2. 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. In a small saucepan, simmer 1/2 cup of the heavy cream with the ginger for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In another small heavy saucepan, cook the sugar with the lemon juice over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar caramelizes to a light brown color, 10 to 15 minutes. Being careful to avoid splatters, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Remove from the heat.
  3. Strain the cream into a bowl and whisk in the caramel until smooth. Serve warm.

Make Ahead The sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 1 month. Rewarm over low heat before serving