Sometimes, golden beads form on my cheesecake with meringue topping. I very much like this effect, but I can't get it to appear consistently. Can anyone give advice as to what to pay attention to?
That's your meringue weeping. You could either make a very unstable meringue, which will weep uncontrollably, or you can replicate the effect with caramelised sugar - the latter is probably better for consistency and not-having-a-sloppy-mess-on-top-of-your-cheesecakeness.