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Nadiya Hussain’s Badam Cheesecake

With a crunchy nutty base and flaky filo sides, this pistachio and rose cheesecake from Nadiya's Simple Spices on BBC2 is creamy and sweet; a show-stopping dessert.

From the book

Introduction

Cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts and this version has everything a cheesecake needs: crisp, buttery filo layers, a nutty base layer and a creamy cheesecake filling with flecks of rose petal.

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Ingredients

For the filo base and sides:
270g pack of filo pastry, ready rolled
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 orange, zest only (reserve the juice)
For the nutty base:
225g digestive biscuits
100g pistachios
110g unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
900g full-fat cream cheese
200g caster sugar
150ml soured cream
3 tbsp plain flour
3 medium eggs
1 organic rose, petals removed
½ tsp rose extract
100g pistachios, roughly chopped
For the syrup:
Juice of 1 orange
3 cardamom pods, crushed
100g caster sugar
To serve:
pouring cream
rose syrup

Essential kit

You will need: a round 20cm loose-bottom cake tin.

Method

Prep: 38 minutes. Cook: 1 hour 25 minutes (+ cooling & refrigerating).

Start by preheating the oven to 180°C and lining and greasing the base and sides of a round 20cm loose-bottom cake tin.

Now cover the base and sides with the filo. The readymade filo sheets come in rectangles. Cut them in half so they are squares. Put the butter in a pan to melt with the cinnamon and orange zest and mix well.

Brush the inside of the tin with the cinnamon butter, lay over a sheet of the filo and brush all over with butter. Add another sheet of filo, moving clockwise as you lay the sheets so that you cover all the sides, again brushing with butter. Keep doing this till the base and sides are completely covered.

Make the nutty base by putting the digestive biscuits and pistachios in a food processor and blending to a fine, even crumb. Take out and tip into a bowl, pour in the melted butter and add the salt and mix till you have the texture of wet sand.

Tip into the prepared tin with the filo and, using the back of a spoon, press into the base in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, then take the tin out of the oven and set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 140°C.

Start making the filling. Put the cream cheese in a bowl with the caster sugar and mix the sugar in well. Spoon in the soured cream, plain flour and eggs and mix through. Sprinkle in your rose petals and the rose extract and mix.

Pour onto the biscuity filo base and smooth the top. Tap sharply on the worktop to remove any air pockets and sprinkle over the chopped pistachios.

Bake for 1 hour. When the hour is up, leave the oven ajar so the hot air comes out of the oven gently. Leave the cheesecake in there till the oven is cold.

Make the syrup by putting the orange juice in a saucepan with enough water to make up 100ml of liquid. Add the crushed cardamom pods and caster sugar. Mix it all together and then put over a high heat.

As soon as the mixture boils, turn the heat down to allow the mixture to reduce to half the amount and form a thicker syrup.

Take the cheesecake out of the cold oven and drizzle the syrup around the edges into the layers of filo and on top of the nuts. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before devouring with some rose syrup and pouring cream.

+ If you don’t have rose syrup, take 325g golden syrup and add a dash of pink food colouring, 1 teaspoon rose extract and 50ml cold water. Mix until combined and you now have your own home-made, vibrant rose syrup.

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From the book: Nadiya’s Simple Spices

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