- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Line the bottom of a 20 cm (8-inch) springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the inside of the pan.
- In a bowl, combine the almonds, brown sugar and butter. Press firmly at the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool.
- Wrap the outside bottom and sides tightly with aluminum foil base. Double the foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 165 °C (325 °F).
- In a food processor, cream the cheese and sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until just smooth. With a spatula, scrape down the sides a few times. Pour over the crust.
- Prepare a water bath: Place the cheesecake in a large baking dish and pour hot water into the dish up to one third of the cake pan.
- Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the centre of the cheesecake reads 65 °C (150 °F). Remove the cheesecake from water bath and foil. Let cool for about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or until completely chilled.
- In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Cook without stirring until the mixture is golden brown. Off the heat, add the hot cream and the butter. Beware of splattering. Bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the caramel is smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes. Pour over the cheesecake. Spread the almonds on the surface of the caramel. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
- Run a thin blade between the pan and the cheesecake, then unmold.