Tuesday, November 8, 2016

CHOCOLATE SWIRL HAZELNUT CHEESECAKE

This is quite a decadent dessert and very impressive to serve as dessert at a dinner party. I actually sent my guests home with some of the cheesecake. If you prefer using chopped almonds, substitute amaretto liqueur for the hazelnut liqueur.



Crust
¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
¾ of a package chocolate wafer cookies
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 t pure vanilla extract

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry skillet until lightly browned and fragrant.
Remove and place in a clean tea towel or flour sack towel and cover completely.
Using both hands, rub the skins off of the nuts and then chop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9-inch springform pan.

Place cookies, chopped hazelnuts, and brown sugar in a food processor and pulse to make fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl and add the melted butter and vanilla.
Stir to combine and press into the bottom and sides of the prepared pan.
Use a metal measuring cup to press around the edges and up the sides of the pan
Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.

Filling
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 T cornstarch
2 T hazelnut liqueur, optional
1 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Reduce temperature of oven to 325 F degrees.

Melt chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water. 
Stir until smooth, turn off heat and set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl often.
Slowly pour in the sugar and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Beat in the cornstarch, hazelnut liqueur, vanilla extract, and eggs, one at a time.
Scrape filling into the pan with the cookie crumb crust.

Using a rubber spatula, add mounds of chocolate around the top of the batter.
Using a table knife, swirl in the chocolate a few times.

Bake for 30 minutes and without opening the oven door, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in oven another hour.

Remove and let cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serves 8 to 10

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