- 1lb 5oz/600g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons/120g caster or superfine sugar (I used vanilla sugar and left out the vanilla pod)
- 2/3 vanilla pod
- 4 organic or free range eggs
- 1/4 cup/60ml sour cream
- confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 6oz/160g dry biscuits like digestives (I used half gingersnaps and half honey grahams)
- 3 tablespoons/40g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup/150g salted macadamia nuts
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon/90g caster or superfine sugar
- 5 tablespoons/65g unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon/160g caster or superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup/100ml whipping or heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 140°C. Lightly grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes until they are golden. Remove and set aside.
- For the crust, place biscuits in a food processor and whiz to a fine crumb. Mix with the melted butter. Transfer to the lined cake tin and flatten with the back of a spoon and slightly up the sides.
- For the cheesecake batter, beat together the sugar and cream cheese with an electric whisk until creamy. Gradually add the vanilla extract (or seeds if using vanilla pod), eggs and sour cream. Whisk until the batter is smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into the crust. Bake for 60-70 minutes, a skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a slightly wet crumb. Allow to cool to room temperature, then remove tin. Remove the sides and transfer the cake onto a plate, you can leave the bottom on if you like. Chill the cake for at least two hours.
- For the nut brittle, Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place the sugar in a large saucepan. Make sure the sugar is in a very thin layer not more than 0.1?/3mm, use a large pan. Heat sugar on low heat until it turns a golden caramel. Do not stir at any stage. Carefully add the toasted nuts and mix gently with a wooden spoon until they are evenly coated. When most of the nuts are coated in caramel, pour them on to the lined tray and leave to set. When cooled break and chop them very roughly with a large knife.
- For the caramel sauce, put the butter and sugar in a large saucepan and stir constantly over a medium heat with a wooden spoon until it becomes a smooth, dark caramel. Once the desired colour is reached, carefully add the cream while stirring vigorously. To stop the caramel from browning further pour it directly into a glass bowl and leave to cool.
- To finish the cheesecake, spoon the sauce in the centre, allowing it to spill over a little. Scatter the caramelised nuts on top and dust generously with icing sugar. The cheesecake will keep in the fridge for 3 days.