Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nutella Swirl Cheesecake

For Valentine's Day, my co-workers and their husbands and JJ and I went to dinner at a Japanese Hibachi Restaurant, then we went back to Michele's to play games and have dessert, which I offered to make. I asked what everyone would like, and they all said whatever, so I started throwing out ideas. I said how about cheesecake, and everyone said YES! Then I said well, I want it to have chocolate and fruit, so I asked them if they liked Nutella. Vickie said she and her husband love it, but the other's hadn't had it, so I knew I'd have to introduce them to it!

I decided to make a plain, New York style cheesecake, but with a chocolate graham crust, rather than plain, and then swirl in the Nutella so it didn't completely overpower the cheesecake.

I think the Nutella could have actually been a little stronger, it wasn't completely overshadowed by the cheesecake batter, but it wasn't a very predominant flavor. Maybe next time I'd swirl it on top after cooking, as well, because I think cooking it might have reduced some of the flavor. Also, I'd use the whole jar, rather than a jar less 2 giant spoonfulls that I ate :)

This cheesecake is SO amazing, decadent, but really light, super creamy, and wonderful, another Dorie classic I'll go back to from now on! Just be sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature, and make sure you listen to the directions about how long to whip and cream the ingredients (something I tend to rush)! Also, I used a 3" high springform pan, I think 9" in diameter, and I had the perfect amount of batter.

Nutella Swirl Cheesecake
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

2 packages of Chocolate Graham crackers (out of a box of 3), crushed, about 2 c.
1 stick of butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar

4 8 oz. bricks of Cream Cheese
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 c. Nutella hazlenut chocolate spread
6-8 Strawberries, halved (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in a bowl, toss in graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
Spray a springform pan wrapped in foil with nonstick spray.
Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides, about 2" (I use a glass to help me press in the sides).
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove, set aside. Reduce oven temp. to 325 degrees.

While crust bakes, prepare filling.
Boil a kettle full of water.
Beat the cream cheese at a medium speed until soft and creamy (about 4 minutes).
With the mixer still running add the sugar and salt and continue to beat for another 4 minutes or so, the cream cheese should appear light and creamy.
Add the vanilla and the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, about 1 minute.
Reduce speed to low, add the sour cream and beat for 1 minute.

Pour the water into a large roasting pan (I used a steel sautee pan with high sides)
Place the spring form pan in, then pour half the batter in the crust.
Put the nutella in a piping bag and make a swirl of it over the batter.
Pour the remaining batter in, it will go above the crust.
Pipe a cross-hatch pattern on the top with nutella, use a toothpick to swirl at a 45 degree.
Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. It will be a little golden on top, and will puff up above the rim.

Turn off the oven, prop open, and allow to cool gently for a further hour.

Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack, about another hour.
When the cake has cooled to room temperature refridgerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, top with strawberries.


Crissy said...

Ash, if only I had the baking gene in me... that looks heavenly. Also, one of my guy friends is making dinner for a girl he is dating, and I referred him to your blog. I believe he is trying the balsamic chicken dish you just posted :)

Stephanie said...

This looks fabulous!

Joelen said...

What a beautiful cheesecake! Great job on the swirls!

Debbie said...

Ashlee, you are toooo much!!! That cake looks amazing. So beautiful. I can only imagine how good it must taste!!!

Kelly said...

Looks delicious. If you want to pick up more of the nutella flavor perhaps you could add ground hazelnuts into the crust as well. I bet that would add a nice dimension.

That Girl said...

I'd add a little Frangelico to the batter to add to the flavor of the nutella.

kitchenbelle said...

Wow--this looks great! I am in love with Nutella!

Colleen said...

This looks fantastic! Good choice!

Olivia said...

I just made some brownies with nutella and I still have some left so I'm thinking I just might have to make's only economical not to waste it right? :)