Monday, June 17, 2013

Nutella Cheesecake


Oh hey, remember me!? I'm the girl who used to post new recipes like clockwork.. but who got ridiculously busy and abandoned her blog for nearly a month! Things have been a bit crazy for the past couple of months with finishing my final student teaching practicum, graduating from university, moving, job hunting, and starting work - so I had to put blogging on the back burner (pun intended). The good news is that I'm back to apologize for my temporary hiatus and and make it up to all of you amazing people who follow my blog and make these recipes. Although I haven't been blogging about it, I have been cooking and baking more than ever and I have a huge backlog of amazing food to share with you in the coming weeks! And the recipe I have today is the frontrunner of them all. It should make you forget all about my temporary abandonment and have you running to the store for a jar of Nutella. It is the ultimate peace offering and the ultimate showstopping dessert. Best part? It's almost too easy to make (it's no bake!). A friend and I went through an embarrassing amount of Nutella and made two of these in one night! It's definitely the least figure-friendly dessert you can imagine... but you won't care one bit once you taste your first bite. Now I know you come to this blog for the food and not to hear me blabber on, so I'll stop now and let you get to the good stuff - dessert!


Ingredients:

2 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs - You can also use chocolate cookie crumbs instead, but I like the contrasting flavour that graham cracker crumbs gives to this already chocolate-y dessert
5 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts divided use - After searching for hazelnuts with no luck, we discovered that peanuts make a fine substitute if you don't have hazelnuts; almonds would also be delicious
1 13oz./400g jar Nutella
1 lb./500g cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar

Directions:

Prepare a 9" or 10" springform pan by lining the bottom with a circle of wax or parchment paper and greasing the paper and sides of the pan with butter.

Put the graham cracker crumbs, butter, 3 Tbsp. of nuts, and 1 Tbsp. Nutella in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture starts to clump and become a damp, sandy mixture. If it seems too dry add a little bit more butter and pulse. If you don't have a food processor then you can combine the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with 5 Tbsp. melted butter, 3 Tbsp. nuts that have been very finely chopped, and Nutella. Stir vigorously until no large clumps remain and the mixture is damp and sandy. Again, add a bit more melted butter if it seems dry.

Pour the crust mixture into the prepared springform pan and press firmly and evenly into the pan using your hands or the bottom of a heavy glass. Ensure it is evenly distributed up the sides of the pan. Place in the fridge to chill.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the remaining Nutella and continue beating until combined. Pour into the prepared, chilled crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts on top. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Don't be tempted to eat it right away - it's so much better once you leave it to chill. I promise your patience will be rewarded!


When ready to serve, carefully remove the outer ring of the springform pan and slice, serving it cold from the fridge for best flavour and texture. Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator


*Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

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