Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hazelnut Cheesecake Baklava



I made this hazelnut cheesecake baklava for my Greek Feaster dinner party I hosted with The Wind Attack (caught in the act of microblogging).


I love baklava, but sometime the thick layer of nuts become excessive, plus I wanted something "lighter" for the supposed (cough) Spring we were having in Portland. I used hazelnuts because, first of all, I love them, and secondly they are Oregon's #1 nut. Thirdly, I'd never had baklava with hazelnuts. Going along with the Oregon theme, I used a local wildflower honey to make the syrup. The floral, delicate honey played in nicely. 




Hazelnut Cheesecake Baklava
Adapted from the Kathimerini
Makes 2 large trays


For the cheesecake
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
4 eggs


For the baklava
1 package frozen phyllo pastry (defrosted)
2 cups roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butted, melted
1/4 cup hazelnut oil


For the syrup
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar


For the cheesecake layer
In a medium size bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, adding eggs in one by one followed by the vanilla.


For the baklava

  • Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
  • Grease two baking trays (about the same size or smaller than one sheet of phyllo).
  • Combine melted butter with hazelnut oil.
  • Use half the phyllo, divided evenly on to the two trays, to make stacks with melted butter in between each layer.
  • In a separate bowl, mix nuts, sugar and cinnamon together.
  • Sprinkle half (divided evenly) nut mixture over phyllo layers, then pour cheesecake filling. Sprinkle with remaining Nuts
  • Finish with phyllo-butter layers until finished with dough.
  • Score the top with a sharp knife to form diamond shapes.
  • Bake for about an 50 minutes or until golden brown on top. You do not want to under cook baklava because it will become soggy quickly with the syrup.

For the syrup
Boil water, honey and sugar together  for several minutes, then let simmer for 10 minutes. 


There are two ways to approach the syrup pouring:
1. Hot syrup on cooled baklava
2. Cold Syrup on hot baklava


Pick one and enjoy!

25 comments:

Three-Cookies said...

Nice fusion - cheesecake and baklava. Turkey I think is the worlds largest producer of hazelnut yet they don't use in baklavas. There must be a valid reason for this.

Taste of Beirut said...

Love it! I have never tried mixing cheesecake with baklava, although we have plenty of cheese-filled recipes in the Lebanese pastry kitchen, usually with semolina-based dough/

Ivy said...

Very creative way of combining baklavas with cheesecake.

Lenia said...

Very original idea,Anna!I will definitely give it a try!Thanks for sharing!Kisses:)

Peter M said...

Very original Anna...phyllo meets cream cheese...luv it (and the fountouki too)!

SassyAgapi said...

every word of the title just kept getting better, looks yummy!

Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Now we're talking...this is right up my alley with your creativity Anna. great combo with the hazelnuts and local honey too!

Elra's cooking and baking said...

The hazelnuts win me over! How delicious are this combination Anna!

Esi said...

I want!

Helen said...

Oh boy! I sure had my share of baklava in Athens. My cousin brought me a box of various shapes and flavours of baklava. Some had chunks of prune inside. Another one had dollops of nutella flavoured chocolate topping. They were all so good and within a week I polished off the entire box! Your version of baklava sounds de-lish! Although I'm not a big cheesecake fan, the cheesecake and baklava combo sounds very good.

mia maria said...

Cheesecake and baklava! What a combination!

Indie.Tea said...

Cheesecake - that is an interesting concept to combine with baklava. It looks delicious too...

Anna A. said...

Three-Cookies - Very interesting about Turkey - I wonder why they don't use hazelnut?! Maybe because it's too much of a commodity item?

Taste of Beirut - Thanks I got to try making some of the semolina cheese filled desserts... mmmm

Ivy - Thank you! Cuz sometimes you just can't decide which dessert to have ;-)

Peter - Start spreading the news... :-)

Sassy Agapi - Hehehe...tempted to add a "chocolate" in there....

Lenia - I hope so! I would love to see what you do with this.

Peter - Thanks so much - now time to make a souffle!

Elra - Love those hazels.

Esi - :-)

Helen - Not a cheesecake fan? My mom isn't either - that's why I never got enough of it growing up. Do you have the cheesecake factory in Canada? Massive retail eatery with a chabillion versions of cheesecake. Maybe not your cup of tea - consider yourself warned.

Mia Maria - Thanks for stopping by.

Indie.Tea - I try! Maybe a full cheesecake layer next time :-)

Helen said...

Anna, It's the Phllly cheese that I don't like. I find it too thick and smelly LOL. Nope, no cheesecake factories over here. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise?

foodjunkie.eu said...

This is such an interesting interpretation of Baklava! Mainly because one can have it in the summer too. Bookmarked for future use!

Sharon said...

Love BAKLAVA!and it's a CHEESECAKE too! it's on my list to try for sure! your pic are w/iphone? how'd you get your url on your pic too? so smart techy you all are! Thanks for sharing!

Srlmcb said...

oops!something went wrong! hope my comment went up!sorry if this is duplicated. Love BAKLAVA ! and it's a CHEESECAKE too! it's on my list to try for sure! your pic are w/iphone? how'd you get your url on your pic too? so smart techy you all are! Thanks for sharing!

ellysaysopa said...

Umm, this is pretty much the greatest idea ever. I am totally going to make this. I love the idea of using hazelnuts. I really love them, but I'm too cheap. :)

Anna A. said...

Helen - LOlz, yeap, good thing no cheesecake factories there. Oh, purity!

foodjunkie - Thank you!

Sharon - Glad you stopped by - I use google picassa watermarks to put my URL on my pics. I take most my photos (all these for the baklava) with a canon s90.

Elly - blushing! I try to take advantage of the locals discount here on hazelnuts since they are grown all throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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