Nutella Cheesecake
One of desserts I made for my annual Christmas Eve open house. I’m usually far too busy cooking to take lots of pictures of what I bake, and this year was no exception, but I did try to grab a few quick not-too-horrible snaps of a few of the dishes. I had originally planned on a cheesecake and some Nutella cupcakes, but when paring down the menu to fit in my allotted two days of cooking, one had to go, and this merger was the result. It’s topped with a few Ferrero Rocher candies, which made perfect sense to me given the chocolate-hazelnut connection.

Ingredients

For the crust
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 tbl. sugar

For the filling
2 lb. softened cream cheese
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. sour cream
2 tbl. dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/3 c. Nutella

Toppings
8 Ferrero Rocher candies
Nutella

Directions

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place a roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven. Line the outside of a 9" springform pan with aluminum foil (to help make it water-tight from the outside, since we’ll be cooking in a water bath). Place a large pot of water on high heat on the stove to boil.

Make the crust by melting the butter, combining it with the cracker crumbs and sugar, and press into an even layer on the bottom of the springform. Since the cheesecake will be cooked in a water bath, bake the crust alone in the oven for about 10 minutes, then cool it while prepping the other ingredients.

Beat the cream cheese at medium speed, then add sugar and continue beating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the Nutella and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time while continuing to beat the cream cheese mixture, scraping down the bowl between each egg to ensure that no lumps of plain cream cheese will remain in the batter. Fold in the vanilla, heavy cream, and sour cream. Pour the mixture over the crust.

Place the springform pan into the roasting pan, and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, enough to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until the edges are set and the center continues to jiggle like gelatin. Turn off the heat, prop oven the oven door slightly (a wooden spoon is great for this), and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for another hour. Remove, cool to room temperature in the pan, then transfer the pan to refrigerate until cold (several hours, preferably overnight).

Run a thin knife around the outside of the pan before removing the ring from the springform pan. Place parchment or plastic wrap on the top, invert carefully onto a plate, remove the bottom of the springform pan, then invert carefully onto your serving platter and remove the parchment or plastic.

Top with the Ferrero Rocher candies, held in place with some more Nutella, applied with a piping bag.

This is very rich, and should serve 16-20.

I think if I were making this again, I might have replaced some of the graham cracker crumbs in the crust with some finely chopped hazelnuts, but I didn’t have any on hand when making this.
By djwtwo on 2010-12-24 12:54:38
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