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Amaretto Cheesecake with Almond Brittle

Photo: Andrew McCaul
Prep time 45 mins
Cook time 1 hr, 35 mins
Yield Makes 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)


  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Brittle:
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Dash of salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 334
  • fat 18 g
  • satfat 7 g
  • monofat 6 g
  • polyfat 2 g
  • protein 9 g
  • carbohydrate 35 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 80 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 190 mg
  • calcium 146 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray; set aside.

  2. To make cake crust: Place almonds, flour, and sugar in a food processor; process until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; pulse until combined. Press crust evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. Reduce oven heat to 300°.

  3. Place cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Gradually add condensed milk, amaretto, and vanilla to mixture; beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce mixer speed to medium; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until cheesecake is puffed on sides and slightly jiggly in center (55-60 minutes). Let cool completely on a wire rack. Tightly cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and set (at least 8 hours or up to 2 days).

  4. To make brittle: Increase oven heat to 350°. Place almonds on a baking sheet; toast until golden brown and fragrant (about 5-7 minutes), stirring twice. When cool, push almonds close together in an 8-inch circle. Heat a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat; add sugar, water, and salt to pan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; bring mixture to a boil, washing down sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals. Boil, without stirring, until caramel is a dark amber color, then swirl the pan to even out the color. Immediately pour caramel in a circular motion evenly over almonds on baking sheet, coating well. Allow brittle to cool and harden (about 15 minutes). Break into smaller pieces; place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Crush brittle into 1/2-inch pieces with a rolling pin.

  5. To serve, run a knife around inside edge of pan to loosen cake; remove side of pan. Using your palms, coat side of cheesecake with praline pieces; carefully press remaining praline pieces into top of cake. Cut cheesecake into wedges with a serrated knife dipped into hot water; wipe knife dry after each cut.