KEVIN AND JANE’S KITCHEN
This magnificent cheesecake captures the tastes and colours of Christmas!
Photography: Rob Palmer
Eggnog Cheesecake With Stained-glass Praline
5 dried figs, coarsely chopped
10 small dried apricots
5 pieces glace ginger
10 whole pecans
10 whole walnuts
10 brazil nuts
55 grams (¾ cup) dry-roasted hazlenuts
60 mls (¼ cup) water
370 grams (1 ¾ cups) caster sugar
Melted butter to grease tin
200 grams Arnotts Granita biscuits
100 grams butter, melted and cooled
3x250 grams cream cheese at room temperature
185 grams (¾ cup) cream
60 mls (¼ cup) brandy
Large pinch nutmeg
8 red glace cherries
• Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine the fig, apricots, ginger, pecans, walnut halves, brazil nuts and hazelnuts in a bowl. Spread over the lined tray. Place the water and 155g (3/4 cup) sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, brushing down the side of pan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in water, for 5-7 minutes or until golden (see tip 1). Carefully drizzle the toffee over the nut mixture. Set aside to cool completely (see tip 2).
• Preheat oven to 150°C. Release the base from a 22cm springform pan and invert. Line the base with non-stick baking paper. Secure back into the pan, allowing the paper to overhang. Brush the side of the pan with melted butter and line with non-stick baking paper.
• Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the butter and process until combined. Press the biscuit mixture over the base of the prepared pan. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
• Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the cream, brandy and nutmeg. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until just combined.
• Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pan. Place on a baking tray. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until just set in the centre. Turn oven off. Leave the cheesecake in oven, with the door ajar, for 2 hours or until cooled completely (this will help prevent the cake from cracking). Release from pan. Place in an airtight container in the fridge overnight to chill.
• Break the praline into coarse pieces. Arrange praline and cherries on top of the cheesecake to serve.
Make it ahead: Prepare to the end of step 1 up to 2 days ahead. Store the praline, in a single layer, in a large airtight container lined with non-stick baking paper. Continue to the end of step 5, 1 day ahead. Continue from step 6 just before serving.
Use a knife dipped in hot water to cut the cheesecake, reheating and drying the knife between slices.
Tip 1: Be careful not to overcook the toffee - it's ready when it turns light gold.
Tip 2: Spread the fruit and nut mixture over the tray. Allow toffee to run between the pieces, otherwise the praline won't set.
The paper on the base of the springform is so you’ll have handles when you need to move it.