Friday, 21 April 2017

Baklava Cheesecake

An exclusive from Niloufer's Kitchen

Baklava Cheesecake

Freshly baked, and  served tepid warm it was delicious. Devouring leftovers it tasted just as delicious when chilled overnight. It is really about personal preferences on its temperature as the "texture" of the cheesecake continues to change at all the various temperatures you eat it at. 
The phyllo chips that I speak off in my recipe, are a different matter. They are best when served freshly baked and  on the warmer side of room temperature. Once refrigerated they tend to become rather moist and loose their crispness very quickly. 
I had none left over to worry about; as everyone had snapped them up! 

Reasonably simple the process seems a tad lengthy and time consuming to prepare.  Mis en place is important to get through this recipe. 

A cheesecake that is layered with the flavours of a baklava. These phyllo chips were a huge favourite so don't skip them.

Grind together 
1 cup walnut
1/2 cup sugar
Turn over in a large bowl and cut in 
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped walnuts

Press it down on the base.  
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a preheated oven of 350 F 170 C
Remove and cool.

It will look like a large biscuit.

Cheesecake batter
In a food processor mix until smooth
400 gm / 14 oz paneer
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tbsp rose water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cardamom powder

add 1/ 4 tsp salt if the paneer is not salty

Pour over the cooled base and bake  in the same preheated oven of 350 F/ 170 C for 10 minutes and then reduce to 300 F 140 C for another 35 minutes. Check that the center is jiggly and sides are just set. Turn off the oven and allow to cool for another 30 minutes or more. Remove. Scrape the sides down, open up the spring form and move to a plate once completely set and cool. 

To finish off bake the phyllo sheets as follows.
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 200 C

Phyllo Chips
Two sheets ready to bake phyllo - or thinly rolled out puff pasty works well too.

Coarsely grind together 
3 tbsp brown sugar 
1/2 cup pistachios

1 tbsp butter 
1/4 tsp saffron
squeeze of lemon juice;  approximately 1 tsp

Place the phyllo on a cookie tray and brush the bottom half with a mix of melted butter, saffron and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Sprinkle it with the mix of sugar and pistachios.
Fold down the half and repeat to brush sprinkle and refold the phyllo sheet.
Repeat the process with the second sheet of phyllo.

Place both on the baking sheet and cut into triangles with a pizza cutter or a knife.

Sprinkle both the sheets with the remaining pistachio mix.

Bake for 12 minutes, remove the tray turn all the pieces over. Return the tray into the oven and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes until lightly golden.

Using the crumbs on the baking tray for the center of the cake sprinkle it over. 
For making the 'red' either add  dry edible rose petals, pomegranate seeds, or simple colour a teaspoon full of the phyllo crumbs with red food colouring by dropping it into a bowl and tossing it until red.

Place the shards of phyllo all around and serve.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

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