You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 750 gm natural yoghurt
- 440 gm caster sugar (2 cups)
- 175 ml dessert wine
- 250 gm cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only
- 3 eggs
- To serve: pure icing sugar
- 50 gm unblanched almonds
- 50 gm pure icing sugar
- 110 gm plain flour
- 90 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped
- 1Place yoghurt in a muslin-lined sieve placed over a bowl and refrigerate overnight to drain and yield 500ml.
- 2For praline shortcake, preheat oven to 180C. Dry roast almonds in a frying pan over medium-heat until golden (1-2 minutes). Sieve over half the icing sugar and cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until caramelised and nuts are coated (1-2 minutes). Cool on a lightly greased oven tray then transfer to a food processor. Add flour and remaining icing sugar, process to a fine powder. Add butter and pulse until mixture just comes together. Press into the base of an 18cm-diameter spring-form ring placed on a baking-paper-lined oven tray (don’t use the spring-form base; this will make it easier to transfer to a serving plate). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Blind bake for 10 minutes, remove paper and weights and bake until golden (8-10 minutes). Set aside.
- 3Meanwhile, combine sugar and 185ml of water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Cook, while brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals forming, until dark caramel in colour (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat, add 75ml of dessert wine (be careful, mixture will spit), swirl to combine and set aside until bubbles subside.
- 4Reduce oven to 150C. Using a food processor, process drained yoghurt, cream cheese and vanilla seeds until smooth. Add half the reserved caramel mixture, process to combine, then add eggs and process until smooth. Pour over prepared base (there may be a little mixture left over) and bake until the centre just starts to set (35-40 minutes). Turn off oven, cool cake in oven for 1 hour, then refrigerate until chilled (3-4 hours). Dust with icing sugar to serve.
- 5Meanwhile, return remaining caramel mixture to heat, add remaining dessert wine and simmer until just combined (1 minute), cool and drizzle over cheescake to serve.