Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nutella Cheesecake

Warm days and cool summer nights can mean only one thing here in the Tri-Cities, it is BBQ season!  Getting together with friends to cook up some hot dogs, burgers, have some wine, and good conversation is one of my favorite summer pastimes.

My favorite part of any meal is the dessert, and being invited to a BBQ means I have an excuse to prepare a dessert to share with friends.

Earlier this week a friend and myself went to a bakery in town where they sell gourmet cupcakes, desserts, wine, and entrees.  We ordered some cupcakes to enjoy there and we each purchased a slice of Nutella Cheesecake.  It was so good.  I thought I could recreate, or even improve the cheesecake at home though.  The cheesecake from the bakery did not have a very smooth texture as well as it tasted a little dry.  The BBQ was the perfect reason for me to play around in the kitchen to get the right mixture of nutella-y cheesecake goodness.

So here goes nothing!

First things first, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix 1 cup graham cracker crumbs with 2 1/2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, and 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar.  Mix until the butter is evenly distributed into the sugar and cracker mixture.  Pour the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a 9" springform pan and gently press down.  Bake until golden, approx. 8 minutes.  Set this aside and cool completely, when the pan is cool, butter the sides of the pan.

Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees.

Softened Cream Cheese
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 pounds softened cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 orange zest, 1 lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract and beat until light and creamy.  Add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, then 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks, adding one at a time and mixing well after each addition.  Add 1/2 cup sour cream and mix until smooth.

Cream Cheese Mixture after everything is mixed in
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour more. 

Cooking in the oven

Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool completely. 

Cheesecake cooling

After cake is completely cooled, microwave approx. 1 cup of Nutella for 30 seconds.  If Nutella is warm and melty, it's ready.  If not, microwave for another 30 seconds.  Be careful not to over microwave it.  Add about 1 tablespoon of shortening to the Nutella and stir well.  The Nutella mixture should be fairly thin and spreadable at this point.  Pour mixture over the top of the cheesecake, spreading it to the edges until the entire top is covered.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds, if desired.

Almost done

Refrigerate cake overnight before serving.  Although the cheesecake would be perfectly delicious just like this, I decided it needed a little extra garnishment, so I whipped up some nutella buttercream frosting to top it off. 

Mix together 1 stick of softened butter and 2/3 cup nutella in a mixing bowl on high until they are creamed together.  On low speed, mix in 3/4 cup powdered sugar, a pinch of sea salt, about 1 tablespoon caramel macchiato creamer (any creamer would do, just enough that mixture is fluffy after mixing), and about 4 tablespoons caramel.  Continue mixing until fluffy.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Put the frosting into a piping bag, and pipe on to cheesecake as desired.  This can be done right before serving, or whenever you are ready.  The frosting will just firm up in the fridge and hold it's design.

The finished product

This cheesecake was absolutely delicious!  Not only was the nutella buttercream smooth, Nutella flavored, and creamy, but the cheesecake's texture was so smooth and velvety.  The cheesecake also had a pleasant light citrus flavor that really complemented the Nutella's flavoring.  This is absolutely a dessert that will be gracing our table again!

So yummy

Please note, the cheesecake recipie I used was adapted from one by Emeril Lagasse, I linked to the original if you wanted to try that, it was for a regular New York Style Cheesecake.  The Nutella topping and Nutella buttercream frosting are my own recipes. 

Nutella Cheesecake

(adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup Nutella Spread
1 tablespoon shortening
1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup Nutella Spread
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Fine sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoon creamer
4 tablespoons caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.  In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar and mix well.  Press onto bottom of springform pan and bake until golden, about 8 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  When completely cooled, butter the sides of the pan.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, zests and hazelnut and beat until light and creamy.  Add the flour, then the eggs and yolks 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the sour cream and mix until smooth.  Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour more.  Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool completely. 

Microwave Nutella Spread for 30 seconds in the microwave or until Nutella is warm and easily mixed.  Add 1 tablespoon of shortening and stir until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.  Pour over the top of the cooled cheesecake.  Spread evenly up to the sides of the cheesecake.  Sprinkle sliced almonds over top of cake to decorate as desired.

Cream Nutella Spread and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed.  On low speed, mix in sugar until combined, then beat mixture on high speed until fluffy and smooth.  Add 1 tablespoon creamer and 4 tablespoons caramel sauce.  Beat on high until mixture is again fluffy.   Add salt to taste. 

Use frosting to garnish cheesecake as desired. 

Refrigerate overnight.


1 comment:

  1. i just made a nutella cheesecake lately too. yours looks great! i havent posted mine yet