Macadamia Brittle Cheesecake
Notes: Retired chef Pat Allen of Pahoa, Hawaii, is a cheesecake genius who uses the Islands' macadamias in this lavish creation. If the nuts are salted, pour onto a cloth towel and rub briskly with the fabric before using.
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- Calories: 339
- Calories from fat: 66%
- Protein: 5.6g
- Fat: 25g
- Saturated fat: 13g
- Carbohydrate: 25g
- Fiber: 0.3g
- Sodium: 213mg
- Cholesterol: 91mg
- 1 cup roasted macadamia nuts
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) melted butter or margarine
- 4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon macadamia nut-flavor liqueur (optional)
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1. Coarsely chop nuts.
- 2. Pour 3/4 cup sugar into a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan. Shake pan often over high heat until sugar melts and turns golden, 5 to 8 minutes; watch carefully. At once, stir in nuts, then immediately pour onto a 12- to 14-inch sheet of foil. With a spoon, press mixture to flatten slightly. Let cool, then break brittle into about 1/4- to 1/2-inch chunks. If making ahead, store airtight up to 3 days.
- 3. In a 10-inch cheesecake pan with removable rim at least 2 1/2 inches tall, mix cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Press crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and 1 1/2 to 2 inches up sides of pan.
- 4. In a bowl, beat cream cheese and eggs with a mixer until smooth. Add 3/4 cup sugar, lemon peel and juice, lime peel and juice, vanilla, and 1/4 cup liqueur; beat until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the nut brittle. Pour into crust-lined pan.
- 5. Bake in a 325° oven until center barely jiggles when cake is gently shaken, about 1 hour.
- 6. Meanwhile, mix sour cream with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon liqueur. Spoon onto hot cheesecake and gently spread to cover top. Return to oven and bake until sour cream is set when gently shaken, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- 7. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and pan rim. Refrigerate cake until cool, at least 3 hours. Serve, or cover and chill up to 2 days.
- 8. Remove pan rim, sprinkle remaining nut brittle onto cake, and cut cake into wedges.
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