Macadamia Baklava Cheesecake


It’s amazing how many uses you can get out of one ingredient. Often, I’d get the urge to explore the same ingredient in every possible way, so I go out and gather as many derivatives as I can. Macadamia nuts in particular are a treasure. For this crispy-crunchy cheesecake creation, I used macadamia nuts and macadamia “cheese” in the filling, and used macadamia oil instead of egg as a binding agent. Without realising it, I’d used only plant-based ingredients, and the result was simply irresistible. In my mind, macadamia nuts have the most buttery flavour of all nuts, and I would go so far as to say, never do anything to overpower its natural taste. All you need to do is enhance it. cheesecake

Macadamia Baklava Cheesecake

Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 min | Serves:  8


for the baklava

100 g plant-based butter

9 sheets phyllo pastry

180 g macadamia nuts

5 ml cinnamon, ground

106 g (125 ml) white sugar

125 ml water

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

2 oranges (juice and zest)

45 ml maple syrup * optional

for the filling

300 g macadamia cheese

100 g plant-based cream cheese

15 ml macadamia oil

10 ml vanilla essence

5 ml orange zest

2.5 ml cinnamon, ground

18g (30 ml) cake flour

200g (235 ml) brown sugar


for the filling

In a mixing bowl whisk together the macadamia cheese, cream cheese, and oil. Add vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon. Combine the sugar and flour to the mixture and incorporate without over mixing.

for the baklava

Pre-heat the oven to 140°C. Prepare a 15cm loose bottom cake tin by spraying with a non-stick spray. Toast the macadamia nuts and cinnamon together in a pan over medium heat until the macadamia nuts start to brown. Remove from heat and add the zest of one orange. Once cooled, chop the nuts roughly and set aside.

In a small sauce pot simmer the juice of one orange, water, and sugar together over a low heat. Once the sugar has melted add the star anise and cinnamon stick. Reduce the mixture until a syrupy consistency. Maple syrup can be added for extra sweetness. Melt the plant-based butter in a medium sauce pot over a low heat, skim the milk solids off the top.

Layer four individual sheets of phyllo pastry into the cake tin, brush with melted plant-based butter between each layer of pastry. Portion the remaining five sheets of phyllo pastry in quarters. Shape each square into a rose and assemble on the top. Add chopped nuts and half of the syrup into each phyllo rose. Bake for 40 min, turn the heat of the oven to 160°C and bake for another 10 – 15 min until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature before carefully removing from the cake tin.

Serve by drizzling the remaining syrup over the baklava. cheesecake cheesecake