Sweetened cheese bathed in nutty syrup makes this Neil Roake and Hilary Biller's ultimate cheesecake
Makes 1 large cake
250g (1 cups) caster sugar
185ml ( cup) water
125ml ( cup) runny honey
2.5ml ( tsp) ground cinnamon
50g blanched almonds, toasted in the oven
100g pecan nuts, walnuts or skinned hazelnuts
10 sheets phyllo pastry
125g butter, melted
2 x 250g tubs cream cheese
250ml (1 cup) sour cream
3 extra-large eggs
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
Combine 100g ( cup) of the caster sugar with the water, honey and cinnamon in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 15 minutes until reduced and thickening. Set aside to cool. Chop all the nuts finely in a food processor. Add the nuts to 60ml ( cup) of the syrup. Reserve the rest of the syrup for serving
Line the base and sides of a 25cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper, with the edges hanging over the sides. Brush a sheet of phyllo pastry with melted butter and fold in half lengthways. Line the cake tin with this, with the edges of the phyllo hanging over the sides. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets.
Beat the remaining caster sugar with the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs. Add the vanilla and mix till smooth. Pour half the cream cheese mixture over the phyllo pastry. Top with half the nutty syrup mixture. Add the remaining cream cheese, then the remaining nutty syrup. Fold the overhanging phyllo inwards, forming a raised crust.
Bake at 180 degrees for 60-70 minutes until just set in the centre but still wobbly. Turn off the oven, open the door and allow the cheesecake to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, pour over the remaining syrup.