SMAK Deli’s Amaretto cheesecake

Bree Street deli SMAK is known for fresh pasta and tasty lunches (including some great tacos) but it is also home to some talented bakers. Try out this recipe for Amaretto cheesecake at home.

Cooking time: 1 hour


30g toasted almonds
70g Amaretto biscuits
100g Tennis biscuits
50g butter, melted
3 eggs
210g castor sugar
600g cream cheese
10ml vanilla extract
75ml amaretto liqueur
70g toasted almonds, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line the base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper and wrap aluminium foil tightly over the base and sides to prevent any water from leaking into the tin while baking.

2. Blitz all the dry ingredients for the base in a food processor to a fine crumb and then add the melted butter and mix in well. Spread the biscuit base over the base of the lined tin and press down gently to compress and form an even layer.

3. To make the filling, beat the eggs and castor sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth. There should be no visible lumps.

4. Add the Amaretto into the mixture and mix until combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth out the top.

5. Place the cake tin into a bain marie (a high-sided roasting dish filled with hot water). Make sure the water only goes about half way up the tin.

6. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour then turn the oven off and open the door slightly. This slows down the cooling process and prevents the cheesecake from cracking.

7. Leave the cheesecake in the oven until it reaches room temperature, then refrigerate overnight to set completely.

8. To serve the cheesecake, remove from the fridge and sprinkle the nuts over the top.

Find SMAK Deli at 22 Bree Street in Cape Town's City Bowl. 

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