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Following on from last week’s creamy mussel risotto recipe, here’s another to try this long weekend. Cookbook author Neil Roake has shared the baklava cheesecake from his latest addition to the Life’s A Beach Cottage Series – More Life’s a Beach Cottage. In this recipe, cold cheesecake meets syrupy baklava – perfect for tea time on a sunny afternoon.

Baklava cheesecake - lifes a beach



Makes 1 large cake

  • 1¼ cups caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • ½ cup runny honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g blanched almonds, toasted in an oven
  • 100g pecan nuts, walnuts or skinless hazelnuts
  • 10 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


Cooking method

Combine ½ 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 ¼ cup of the syrup mixture. 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 150g caster sugar with the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs. Add the vanilla essence and mix until 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 in a pre-heated oven at 170°C 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.

More lifes a beach cottage - recipe book


About the book

More Life’s a Beach Cottage is a third addition to the Life’s a Beach Cottage series by Durban creative Neil Roake. Recipes as cool and colourful as a Hawaiian shirt open with tales of Neil’s travels around the world, and leave you longing to be barefoot in a beach cottage. R345 from Jacana.

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  • Sheila Grobler

    Baklava Cheesecake is old news. The coffee shop near me has been selling it for a long time. It is BEYOND delicious!