There’s nothing better than freshly roasted caramelised macadamias. And in this cheesecake the macadamias are well and truly the hero. They are a delicious textural contrast to a luscious creamy cheesecake. To make the cheesecake extra decadent, it is smothered with a rich, buttery caramel sauce.
This cheesecake is influenced by Ottolenghi’s Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake (Ottolenghi The Cookbook) but uses a simple vanilla base with biscuit crumb.
If you’re looking for a crash course in making caramel – this recipe is perfect. Just use some extra caution since the caramel can get very, very hot. Use the largest saucepan you can find in your kitchen which has a nice thick base with high sides. When making the nut topping make sure you don’t stir the sugar while it is in the pan, just let it do its thing – you will be amazed by the result.
For the caramel sauce, use caution not to over boil it. It thickens naturally when it cools so if it needs to be thinner just add a bit more cream. My first attempt resulted in a very thick caramel which resembled toffee upon pouring. But practice makes perfect right?
The sweet aroma of freshly baked caramelised macadamias will permeate through your kitchen for the rest of the day…
Serves 8 – 10
- 250g digestive biscuits
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
- 600g of full fat Cream Cheese
- 100g icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence or seeds from one vanilla pod
- 284ml double cream (at least 54% butter )
- 150g macadamia nuts
- 90 g caster guar
- 65g unsalted butter
- 160g caster guar
- 100ml whipping cream
1. Lightly grease the base and sides of a 23cm spring form tin with unsalted butter.
2. To make the base – use a food processor with the blade attachment to blitz the digestive biscuits into fine crumbs. Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, simply crush the biscuits in a sealed sandwich bag using a rolling-pin. Combine with the melted butter until all biscuits are evenly coated. Transfer to the lined tin and flatten with the back of a tablespoon to create a level base.
3. To make the filling – place cream cheese, icing sugar and the vanilla essence in a mixing bowl, then beat until smooth. Tip in 284ml pot double cream and continue beating until the mixture is completely combined. Now spoon the cream mixture onto the biscuit base, working from the edges inwards and making sure that there are no air bubbles. Smooth the top of the cheesecake down with the back of a dessert spoon or spatula. Leave to set in the fridge overnight.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 140c. To make the nut topping – scatter the nuts on a baking tin and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Place the sugar in a large saucepan (it is very important that the layer of sugar is no higher that 3mm to ensure it cooks evenly). Heat the sugar gently until it turns into a golden brown caramel. Do not stir at any stage. Carefully add the toasted nuts and mix gently with a wooden spoon. When most of the nuts are coated in caramel, pour them on to the lined tray and leave to set. Break bits off and chop them very roughly with a large knife, leaving some nuts whole.
5. To make the caramel sauce, place the butter and sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan and stir constantly over a medium heat with a wooden spoon until it becomes a very smooth, golden caramel. The butter and sugar will look like they have split. Don’t worry – just keep stirring! Once the desired colour is reached, carefully add the cream while stirring vigorously. Be careful – the sauce may bubble furiously at this stage. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
6. To finish the cake, pour the sauce over the centre of the cake, allowing it to spill over the edges. Scatter the caramelised macadamias on top.
The cheesecake will last in the fridge for three days.