Hazelnut Truffle Cheesecake
My love for the anonymous recipe writer I wrote about last week, when I posted the Espresso Pecan Tart recipe my mother found in an out-of-date cookbook she bought, continued when I baked the writer’s Hazelnut Truffle Cheesecake. Once again, I was surprised by the combination of ingredients chosen.
It isn’t as though hazelnut and chocolate cheesecakes haven’t been made many times before, because there are many options available when searching the Internet. This recipe is unique in how the crust and filling are done.
The crust consists of equal parts flour and toasted hazelnuts that are processed together along with a bit of sugar, pinch of salt and butter. The end result is a crust that is not overly sweet and yet offers so much more character than a graham cracker/hazelnut crust.
The truffle filling is a bit different from the cheesecake fillings I usually make. This one is a tad denser and, once again, the writer managed to perfect the balance of sweetness needed.
It is very important to toast the hazelnuts. I think a well-toasted hazelnut is delicious to pop into my mouth; a raw hazelnut is not. I prefer to toast nuts in my toaster oven, but wherever you toast yours, the key is to keep turning the nuts over and watch them carefully.
Now that I have baked two new delicious recipes, that were kept hidden within an out-of-date cookbook for quite some time, I think I have a new mission. Or rather, I think I am giving my mother something new to do…scour used bookstores in search of some more hidden recipes.
Maybe Mom will think of this adventure as if she’s a pirate searching for gold; only this time, the gold is made of chocolate, butter, cream and other sorts of goodies. Arghhh, I’m confident she is up to the task!
|Hazelnut Truffle Cheesecake|| || |
- ½ cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 3 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 20 blanched hazelnuts, toasted
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
- For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Butter side and bottom of 9” springform pan and set aside.
- Combine nuts and sugar in food processor. Process until fine. Add flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add butter. Pulse until mixture begins to form ball or hold together.
- Pat onto bottom of prepared pan. Wrap bottom with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until golden. Reduce temperature to 325°.
- For the filling:
- Beat cream cheese and sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in melted chocolate followed by vanilla and salt. Add eggs, one at a time. Add cream and cocoa and beat until well blended.
- Transfer to pan and smooth top. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Remove side of pan once cheesecake has cooled. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Slide a straight edge long metal spatula between cheesecake and bottom of pan. Carefully slide cheesecake onto serving plate.
- For the topping:
- Dip hazelnuts partially into melted chocolate and place evenly on top of cheesecake. Place remaining chocolate into small freezer plastic bag. Seal and cut off small piece of bottom corner. Squeeze chocolate onto top of cheesecake.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- I prefer buying blanched hazelnuts because I don’t like taking the skin off hazelnuts. There are various techniques that take the skin off. I thought the video found at http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/how-to-peel-skin-hazelnuts/ of Alice Medrich demonstrating her technique for Julia Child was a wonderful demonstration of a seemlingly easy approach to skinning the hazelnuts.
- Toast all the hazelnuts at the same time. Reserve 20 hazelnuts before preparing crust.
- Cheesecake may also be served directly from springform bottom.