Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake

Nutella Chocolate Cheescake- Enjoy!

It has been a crazy few weeks. I received a last minute offer on my house and that has put me into a kind of frenzy.  I have been packing, sorting, tossing and stressing!  If you have read my "About" section, you already know when times get tough I head to the kitchen! It is in my blood, I can't help it. So here I am in "kitchen therapy" mode making something delicious for no other reason than to clear my mind and loose myself in the process.  Not only does stress make me bake, it also makes me want chocolate. So what better than a Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake. This recipe has been on my "To Do List" for some time and I pulled it out this week, got the ingredients, turned on some Florence and the Machine, Arctic Monkeys and the National and got to work. The steps of a recipe to me combined with the hum of the mixer and the upbeat music lifts my spirits. And as always I am accompanied by my best friend, and kitchen helper, Charlie.

My ever-present best friend

I guess in the back of my mind I have always known, but this year I have really identified that fact that I love making and doing things with my hands; baking, gardening, knitting and even my everyday job requires using my hands to make a difference. And that is exactly what I have done for myself this year, I have made a difference.

What was I worried about again??


Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake


Crust Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups finely-ground chocolate cookies or chocolate graham crackers
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:

1 3/4 pounds (3 1/2 eight-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup Nutella
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:

8 ounces Nutella
3/4 cup heavy cream

The Crust:
Preheat oven to 375ºF Mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a springform pan.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Decrease oven temperature to 325ºF

The Filling:
In a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and Nutella on medium speed until smooth.  Add the sugar and continue mixing until there are no lumps.  Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream and stir until combined.  Add the melted chocolate and mix together.  Add the eggs and yolks one at a time; mix each in before adding the next.
Wrap two layers of aluminum foil around the sides of the springform pan so that it is completely sealed.  Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan on top of the cooled crust.  Bake in a water bath for 60-75 minutes.  The outer edges should be set and the center will still jiggle slightly when you move it.  (The cake continues cooking after it’s removed from the oven.)  Cool for 30 minutes, then remove the springform rim.  Cool completely, then place into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, overnight is best.
Ready for the oven. Springform pan is wrapped in foil to prevent water from getting in.

The Ganache:
Heat over low heat or a double boiler the Nutella and cream until the mixture has become one.  Cool for about 15 minutes (it should be easy to  spread but not runny) and spread onto the cooled cheesecake, or use a pastry bag or fork to drizzle the ganache on top.

Probably the best cheesecake I have made!

Recipe adapted from gimme some oven

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