I teased you with this Baklava Cheesecake in my last post. Well here it is. Let me start with a warning: This cheesecake involves a lot of steps. Let me say that again, A LOT OF STEPS. You might even get lost in this recipe. However, if you’re up for a challenge and want to go for it, I won’t be stopping you! Trust me, it’s worth it.
On a small side note, this version (pictured above) was great, but I modified it slightly to take that great to amazing. So yours might not look quite like this one, but it will taste even better. The recipe below will give you a slightly thinner base, a higher, fuller cheesecake filling and the topping and pastry will be sweeter and just as delicious looking. I used digestive biscuits, but a plain dry sweet biscuit would complement this cheesecake just as well.
The great thing about this recipe is that it has all the full flavour of baklava (plus cheesecake) but doesn’t feel as heavy. The cheesecake is deliciously creamy and the addition of yogurt really gives balance to the flavours.
I would give you a warning about calories, but I it does’t seem like an ideal thing to give 2 warnings in one post. So, how about I just tell you that these are special occasion calories. You know the kind, the calories we totally ignore when special occasions roll around. You could make this on a special occasion like Eid, a birthday or Monday, because Monday’s are special occasions, don’t you think?
This cheesecake was inspired by this picture on Instagram from Amnah (of Little Life of Mine). At the time of posting I had no idea she had a recipe too, If I had I probably would have just used that instead. Go over and check her recipe out, it looks amazingly delicious.
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 75 g butter
- Nut Layer
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 tblsp castor sugar
- Sugar Syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 water
- Few drops lemon juice
- Cheesecake Filling
- 500g cream cheese
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 3/4 cup yogurt
- Fillo Top
- 50g butter
- 2 sheets filo pastry
Base and preparing the nut layer
Preheat your oven to 170c and remove the filo pastry from the fridge so it will be defrosted and ready to use in time (you may have to take these out earlier). Crush nuts until fine. Reserve 1/2 a cup aside to be used with the base. Add castor sugar to the remaining nuts and mix. Prepare a 20cm springform pan by laying the bottom with baking paper and greasing. Crush the biscuits and melt the butter. Add biscuits and the reserved nuts to the melted butter. Mix well and press into the springform pan. Be sure to press into the base and up the sides. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Cheesecake Filling and Filo Top
Whip cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla and whip until combined. Add in yogurt and mix again. Pour onto base and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and gently top with the nut mixture. Fold your filo sheets in half and place on top of the nuts (you should have 4 layers of pastry). Trim off the edges so the filo fits into the pan. Melt butter and spoon onto each sheet of the filo. Place in the oven for a further 20-25 minutes or until the filo is lightly golden.
While the cheesecake is in the oven get your sugar syrup ready. In a small saucepan on the stove, mix together the water, sugar and lemon juice. Cook on a medium heat until thick and syrupy. It will thicken more as it sits.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and pour over your sugar syrup. Set aside to cool completely. Remove from pan and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Remove from fridge 15 minutes before serving.
I guest posted for Lubna over at Yummy Food (kitchenflavours.net) for her event Joy from Fasting to Feasting. Joy from Fasting and Feasting brings together Muslim food bloggers around the world, a successful event in it’s 7th year.
I made Date and Almond Overnight Oats, this is so delicious, great for suhoor keeping you feeling full and nourished throughout the day. Check out the full recipe and post here or a basic recipe below.
Date and Almond Overnight Oats (serves 2)
-1 cup rolled oats
-1 1/2 cups milk (I prefer almond milk)
-4 medjool dates (pitted and chopped)
-2 tablespoons chopped almonds
In a bowl, add in oats, almonds, dates and milk. Give it a good mix and set aside for a few hours or overnight.
On our Ramadan calendar today the activity was to play with some playdough. Not very Ramadanish, I know, but definitely a good activity to keep the little ones busy.
This recipe is honestly amazing, makes the softest most pliable playdough and I just had to share. This is a small batch recipe, the perfect amount for hours of fun. It takes 5 minutes and is a no cook recipe. What could be better than that?
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tblsp salt
- 1/2 tblsp cream of tarter
- 1/2 tblsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- Few drops of food colouring
In a bowl mix together flour, salt, cream of tarter and oil and add in the boiling water. This will be extremely hot, so mix carefully with a spoon until it’s at a manageable temperature. Add in your colouring and knead well until soft and smooth. Store in a ziplock bag or air tight container while not in use.
Potstickers are an Asian dumpling that is lightly fried before being steamed in the same pan. Mr Munchies loves Asian food, me not so much. I’m constantly trying to come up with authenticish (totally a word right?) dishes, which have that Asian flavour, are simple to make and suited to my palette as well. Potstickers are a favourite in our house. Even the cookie monster loves ‘stick pots’.
You can use the recipe as a standard dumpling mixture to make steamed dumplings, add them into Asian soups or follow the instructions below to make potstickers. Crunchy bottoms with a juicy smooth filling.
- 500g chicken mince
- Half a large bunch of coriander
- 1 stem spring onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tblsp soy sauce (I used kacup manis, but normal soy is fine too)
- 1 green chilli (optional)
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 3/4 tsp crushed ginger
- To Assemble
- 2 packs wonton wrappers*
- a little water for sticking the wonton wrappers
- *I use the round wrappers which are called Gow Gee, there’s usually 30 wrappers in each bag
- To Cook
- 2 tblsp oil
- 3/4 cup water
Finely chop your coriander, be sure to use the stems, it’s packed full of flavour. Finely slice your spring onion. Combine this and all other ingredients with the chicken mince and mix thoroughly.
Set your wonton wrappers out on a clean surface. Place a flat level teaspoon of the chicken mince mixture into each wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into the water and run it around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, pushing out any air and sticking down the edges. You can crimp the edges, but it’ not necessary.
You could just let them be at this point, poach or steam them and they make delicious Asian dumplings. Or an addition into an Asian soup.
To enjoy them as potstickers place a large pan on the stove and set to a medium to high heat. Add in your oil and wait for it to get hot. Place you dumplings filling side down into the pan. You may need to press on them a little to flatten the bottom so they stay standing in place. Fry the potstickers until they start to get golden and crispy. Add in your water, cover with a lid and let simmer for 5 minutes, remove the lid and let the water cook out. Once the water is cooked out serve these hot.
To make a simple sauce, add in a few tablepoons of chopped coriander with a finely chopped green chilli to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.
Alternatively you could use 500g breast fillets and process it up with all the filing ingredients.
Do you call it muesli or granola? I’ve always said muesli. I think granola is more of an American thing. Either way, it tastes so good! You can of course buy this from the supermarket, but homemade is just as great as store bought (if not better).
It’s also a great healthy snack to have on hand, a snack that fulfills your sweet craving whilst not being too bad for you. I decided to amp up my usual muesli recipe by making it chocolate! Yum!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup roughly chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup rice bubbles
- 1/3 cup cocoa/cacao
- 1/2 cup milk (best to use a non animal milk, I used oat milk)
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
Pre heat your oven to 160c. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl. add in the wet ingredients and give it all a good mix. It’s best to mix it by hand, it’ll get messy but it’s worth it. Lay the mixture onto a baking paper lined tray (or 2 if you prefer) and bake. Check on the muesli every 5-10 minutes or so and give it a good toss to avoid any bits getting burnt. The muesli should be done after 30-40 minutes or until crispy. If you have the time, leave the muesli in the oven after turning it off, this will give the muesli more time to crisp up and dry.
I won a pair Bigmouth funnels in an Instagram competition. Aren’t they great? All that muesli going straight in the jar. Their new purple/pink colours inspired me to make matching food tags, pictured above. These food labels are in PDF format, all you have to do is click here and hit print.
Here’s something a little different from the standard pasta salad, I kicked it up a notch with the addition of a five bean mix. It’s adds a nice touch as well as making the salad a little more wholesome and healthy.
I know pasta salad tends to be more of a summer BBQ dish, but we’ve been having such beautiful weather here lately, cool air and warm sun. I was also going to say that it’s a great autumnal dish, but apparently it’s already Winter. How did that happen?
- 250 go pasta
- 2 cans four/five bean mix
- 1 capsicum (I used a 1/3 each of red, green and yellow)
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup French salad dressing
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
Cook your pasta as per packet instructions, make sure your pasta is aldente, soggy pasta is no good for a pasta salad. Finely dice your onion and chop your capsicum into tiny cubes. Make your dressing by mixing together the mayonnaise, salad dressing and salt. In a bowl combine your pasta, canned beans, onion and capsicum. Drizzle on the dressing and give it all a good mix.