What's your favorite dessert? Whatever your answer, I've got to tell you, that this scrumptious Baklava Cheesecake can easily steal its place and your heart!
Just think of a softer Baklava, loaded with nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios) and completely soaked in a honey-flavored syrup. Plus, a thick cream cheese topping on top!
Although Baklava Cheesecake is not a traditional Greek recipe but more of a modern alteration, it is made in the same fashion as other traditional Greek Desserts. The Baklava in this recipe is actually something between a Portokalopita (with its syrup-soaked phyllo base) and a Semolina Almond Cake (with meringue + yogurt + almonds+ syrup).
Easier Than It Sounds To Make
And even though it may sound intimidating to make, it's in fact pretty simple. As you don't need to layer the phyllo sheets with nuts like you would do in a classic Baklava recipe. Instead, you cut all the phyllo into little pieces and bake it in a pan on its own. Before combining it with the remaining ingredients for the Baklava base. So you don't need to worry about tearing the phyllo for example.
Then once the phyllo is chopped into pieces and baked until it gets a golden brown color all over, you make a cake batter to combine it with. By beating separately, the egg yolks with sugar until thick and foamy, and the egg whites with sugar into a thick meringue. These two mixtures are then combined with some Greek yogurt, and a bit of baking soda to create a real airy mixture. Be gentle with the stirring at this point to keep the air in the mixture.
You can then add the baked phyllo into this mixture in handfuls at a time. And once all the phyllo is combined, stir in the melted butter and the nuts.
As for the nuts, I place all the nuts (walnuts, almonds, + pistachios) in a blender along with the ground cinnamon and cloves and blend until the nuts look finely chopped. If you blend the nuts too finely you lose on some of the delicious crunchiness.
Syrup : Make Ahead
As for the syrup, it has to be at room temperature when poured over the Baklava. So before starting on anything else, prepare the syrup by adding sugar, water, honey, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, to a cooking pot, and heat over high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Until the sugar dissolves completely and the syrup gets nice and syrupy-thick.
Then remove the pot from heat and just set it aside at room temperature while you proceed on making the Baklava.
SERVE WITH 🠗
Easy Baklava Cheesecake Recipe
For The Baklava Base:
- 1 package (450 grams) phyllo dough unfreeze in the fridge overnight
- 6 large eggs yolks and whites separated
- 200 grams / 7 oz sugar
- 200 grams / 7 oz almonds
- 200 grams / 7 oz walnuts
- 50 grams / 1.7 oz pistachios
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 150 grams / 5.3 oz Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 150 grams / 5.3 oz butter melted
For The Syrup:
- 800 grams / 28.2 oz sugar
- 800 grams / 28.2 oz water
- 5 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 stick of cinnamon
For The Cream:
- 330 ml heavy cream 35% fat
- 800 grams / 28.2 oz cream cheese
- 75 grams / 2.6 oz icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons almonds
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1 tablespoon pistachios
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make The Syrup:
- First, make the syrup so it will be at room temperature when it's time to pour it on the Baklava.
- Add all of the ingredients for the syrup in a cooking pot and heat over high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until sugar dissolves completely and it gets to a syrupy consistency.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
Make The Baklava:
- Preheat oven at 170°C / 338°F.
- Remove phyllo from its package and cut it in half. Then cut into small 2 cm (1-inch) pieces.
- Place in 11x15 inch (26 x 36 cm ) pan and toss and stir it a bit with your hands so most pieces separate from each other.
- Bake the phyllo for about 45 minutes. Every 10 minutes of baking remove the pan from the oven and toss and flip the phyllo so it will get a golden brown color and crispy all over. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Add the egg whites into the bowl of your electric mixer, and with the whisk attachment on, start beating over medium-high speed. Once they start to get foamy start adding half the amount of sugar (100 grams out of the 200 grams) slowly. Keep beating until a thick meringue with stiff picks forms. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the egg yolks into the bowl of your electric mixer, and with the whisk attachment on, start beating over medium-high speed. Start adding the remaining half of the sugar into the eggs. Keep beating until the mixture gets really foamy and thickened.
- Add the almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cinnamon, and cloves in a blender or food processor and blend until nuts look finely chopped but not too powdery.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt and baking soda. Then stir in the egg yolks mixture using a pastry spatula.
- Once the mixture looks fully combined, start incorporating the meringue in it as well. By adding spoonfuls and stirring gently.
- Then start adding handfuls of the baked phyllo into the batter stirring well after each handful. Crumble 2-3 handfuls of the phyllo with your hands, to help the mixture combine even better.
- Once all the phyllo is incorporated into the batter, stir in the nut mixture and the melted butter.
- Transfer the Baklava batter into an oil greased 11x15 inch (26 x 36 cm) pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Or until it gets deep golden brownish on top and when you prick its center with a knife, the knife comes out clean.
- Pour the syrup over the Baklava right as you take it out of the oven. Then set aside and let the Baklava absorb all of the syrup and cool down to room temperature.
- Once the Baklava has cooled down to room temperature, start making the cream
Make The Cream:
- Add the heavy cream into a large bowl or in the bowl of your electric mixer and with the whisk attachment on, beat over medium-high speed until it gets really thick. Then set aside.
- Add the cream cheese, icing sugar, honey, and lemon juice into a large bowl or in the bowl of your electric mixer. With the whisk attachment on, beat over medium-high speed until softened and creamy.
- Gently incorporate the whipped cream into the creamed cheese either using the electric mixer on low speed, or a hand whisk. Then spread the cream cheese evenly over the Baklava. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours for the cream to set. Or ideally overnight.
Make The Topping:
- Place all of the ingredients for the topping in a blender and blend finely. Sprinkle over the Baklava Cheesecake. Cut thinto 12 large square pieces and serve or cut each square in half into triangles to get 24 smaller pieces.
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