Sweet Potato Cheesecake With Meringue & Caramelised California Walnuts

Cheesecake topped with meringue, sprinkled with caramelised walnuts, with small pots of spices around
Credit: California Walnuts

With caramelised California walnuts, toasted meringue and superfood sweet potato in a cinnamon-spiced cheesecake filling, this dessert is worth taking a little time over – both to make and to eat!

Preparation time: 80min

Serves: 8

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Place the California walnuts, sugar, butter and cinnamon into a preheated medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook for 5min, stirring continuously, until the walnuts are coated with the melted sugar mix, then immediately transfer to the baking tray to cool.
  3. To make the base: finely crush the biscuits and set aside. In a bowl, mix the melted butter and cinnamon, then mix well with the crushed biscuits. Transfer the mix into a loose-based round tin, firmly pressing the mixture into the bottom of the tin, then place into the fridge to set.
  4. To make the filling: combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a small bowl and set to one side. Using an electric whisk, mix the cream cheese and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sweet potatoes, vanilla, and spice mixture, and whisk again until smooth. Next, add the eggs one at a time whilst whisking.
  5. Take the cheesecake base out of the fridge, pour in the sweet potato filling and bake for around 50min. Leave to cool completely.
  6. To make the meringue: place the sugar into a preheated saucepan and heat until it reaches 100ºC. Using an electric whisk, beat the egg-whites and when they begin to stiffen into soft peaks add a little of the heated sugar. Continue whisking, adding the remaining sugar a little at a time, at high speed until the meringue is smooth and firm and has cooled down (for around 10min).
  7. Remove the baked cheesecake from the fridge and pat the surface with kitchen roll to remove any moisture. Place a layer of the caramelised California walnuts on top of the cheesecake (reserving a few for decoration).
  8. Place the meringue mix on top of the cheesecake and spread it evenly over the surface, using a spoon to form peaks. Use a kitchen blowtorch to lightly brown the meringue. Decorate with the remaining caramelised California walnuts to serve.