In my family we have a somewhat waist-widening habit of buying Toblerone whenever one or all of us is coming back from overseas and going through the duty-free shop. A few months ago we were coming back from a family holiday to Australia and as we wandered past the stand of shiny triangular sticks of goodness, we decided to be good and just buy one. Usually our poison of choice is the milk chocolate variety, but then I spotted something else.
Crunchy. Almond. Toblerone.
Salty honey roasted almonds, plus the nougat and the milk chocolate. Sold.
But I made the mistake of only buying one. It was gone in the space of a day few hours.
And I would like to say we shared it out evenly. But no. I ate most of it. I sacrificed for my dear family.
Really, the truth is that I’m just a chocolate hog, and it was just so addictive.
Anyway, my point is that once the salty chocolatey almondy goodness was gone, it was gone. And hopeful as I was that maybe a shop nearby might sell it in the lead-up to Christmas; I wasn’t going to hold my breath.
So I bought some regular old Toblerone, made some honey roasted almonds, and then this crunchy almond Toblerone cheesecake happened.
Do you remember my chocolate cookie recipe from a week or so back? This is what I needed the crumbs for. I bashed them up and mixed them with some chopped honey roasted almonds to make the perfect crunchy base for the creamy Toblerone filling.
Speaking of nuts, the honey roasted almonds are pretty evil. Whoever decided that sugar and salt should taste so good together should be shot. With an almond.
I wanted to buy some of those itty bitty Toblerone bars so I could put a little triangle on each cheesecake square, but nope, couldn’t get those either, so I improvised with little dollops of melted Toblerone topped with a couple of the honey roasted almonds. Yum.
The recipe seems long, but trust me, it’s worth it. You can make the honey roasted almonds a day before you need them, and the toppers can also be made in advance, just make sure you store them in an airtight container at room temperature – moisture will cause the sugar on the almonds to dissolve.
Use a removable bottom tin if you have one, but I used a regular cake tin and it came out just fine.
For the honey roasted almonds
340g (2 cups) skin-on whole raw almonds
¾ teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon neutral flavoured oil
3 tablespoons honey (I used liquid honey)
2 tablespoons water
For the base
200g chocolate biscuits/cookies
100g honey roasted almonds
100g butter, melted and cooled
For the filling
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
50g caster sugar
300ml whipping cream
275g toblerone, melted and cooled
For the toppers
The remaining Toblerone from the block, chopped roughly
32 honey roasted almonds
For the honey roasted almonds:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a rimmed baking tray (large enough to fit all of the almonds in a single layer) with non-stick foil or baking paper. Spread the almonds onto the tray and bake, shaking the tray a couple of times, for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and toasty smelling.
While the nuts roast, mix together the sugar and salt in a small bowl. If the salt grains are quite large, crush them with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle half of the sugar and salt into a medium sized heatproof bowl.
Measure the tablespoon of oil into a medium saucepan or frying pan, and then use the same spoon to measure the honey and add it to the oil (doing the oil first means the honey releases from the spoon easily). Add the water and mix together.
When you remove the almonds from the oven, start heating the saucepan over a medium-high heat. When it starts to bubble add the nuts and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the almonds are sticky and shiny.
Tip the almonds into the bowl and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the top. Working quickly, stir the nuts to coat in the sugar, then pour the nuts back into the baking tray. Spread them out into a single layer and separate them as much as possible. Leave them to cool to room temperature. Break up any nuts that have stuck together, and store in an airtight container.
For the cookie crumb base:
Line the base and all four sides of a 8”/20cm square cake tin with two long strips of non-stick baking paper.
Crush the cookies into fine pieces, either in a food processor or place them in a resealable plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin.
Roughly chop the honey roasted almonds, either in a food processor or by hand with a large knife. You want it reasonably fine but a few bigger pieces are nice for extra crunch.
If you’re using a food processor then you can mix the biscuits, nuts and butter together in that, otherwise mix them by hand in a bowl. Add ¾ of the melted butter to the cookies and nuts and mix to combine. If the mixture looks too dry, add more butter and if it’s too wet, add a couple more crushed cookies. For the correct consistency, pick up a handful of the mixture and squeeze it, it should hold its shape, but crumble when pressed with your finger. Press the mixture into the prepared tin, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
To make the cheesecake:
Sprinkle the gelatine over the water in a small heatproof jug and leave to soften for a few minutes. Heat 1/2 an inch or so of water in a small saucepan until gently simmering. Place the jug with the gelatine into the saucepan, and stir until the gelatine is melted and clear. Set aside to cool.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar and honey in an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer) until smooth and creamy.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form (I used a hand mixer for this).
Add the melted Toblerone to the cream cheese and beat to combine. Gently fold in the whipped cream, and then the gelatine mixture. Spread the filling onto the cheesecake base, and smooth the top. Bang the tin on the bench a few times to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight until set.
Gently lift the cheesecake out of the tin. Use a large knife to cut it into 16 squares. Rinse the knife in warm water and dry it before each cut.
For the toppers
Place roughly ¾ of the chopped Toblerone into a heatproof bowl or jug, and microwave on 50% power in short bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted. Add the remaining Toblerone and keep stirring until it has all melted.
Dollop teaspoons full of the chocolate onto a baking paper lined tray. Leave to partially set, then arrange two honey roasted almonds on each round of chocolate. Leave at room temperature to set. Peel off and place on the cheesecake squares just before serving.
This cheesecake will last a day or two in the fridge, just be aware that the nougat pieces in the Toblerone will start to dissolve after a day or so and you may get little pockets of dissolved sugar in the filling. Place the chocolate toppers on each square just before serving, if you add them in advance the moisture from the cheesecake will dissolve the sugar on the almonds.
The honey roasted almond recipe makes more than you will need for this cheesecake. You can halve the recipe if you don’t want too many leftover almonds.