Nothing wrong with being on a little “Hazelnut” kick now, is there? What’s not to love about hazelnuts? I mean, ‘cmon one word says it all… Nutella!
Actually, the fact of the matter is that I happened to have a few toasted hazelnuts left over from the Gianduia Gelato I made yesterday that I wanted to put to use.
I know I shouldn’t have to justify myself, I’m just throwing that out there.
On to the star of the show… The Cheesecake. Oh, did you think I was going to say Frangelico? Well, all I’m going to say is that the cheesecake turned out absolutely heavenly. It was rich and creamy, and the espresso/frangelico combination, superb. Oh, and let’s not forget the crust, it’s a keeper.
Espresso Hazelnut Swirl Cheesecake
adapted from The Ultimate Cheesecake Cookbook
16 ounces finely ground pecan shortbread cookies
1 cup finely ground hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
Melt butter over low heat. Combine butter with crumbs and sugar in a food processor until thoroughly blended or stir and mash together with a fork in a roomy bowl. Press small amounts of crust mix bit by bit all the way up the sides of an ungreased 10″ springform pan, and then press over the bottom of the pan.
1/2 cup hazelnut spread
2 pounds (4 8-ounce packages) cream cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons frangelico
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 larg eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso
Melt hazelnut spread in the microwave on half power in 15 second intervals.
In a mixer, whip cream cheese on the highest speed for 5 minutes, then add sugar and whip for 2 more. Add frangelico, vanilla, espresso powder, salt and blend together thoroughly. Add the eggs, one at a time, keeping the mixer on the lowest speed in order to prevent too much air from destroying the proper consistency of the batter; mix just until each egg has been incorporated into the batter.
Remove one cup of batter, add melted hazelnut spread to it, blend thoroughly with a rubber spatula and reserve. Pour the remaining batter into the crust. Pour reserved batter into the center of the filling and cut through several times with a knife to achieve a swirl effect, but with most of the hazelnut batter remaining in the center.
Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove cake from oven and let stand on a countertop for 10 minutes before moving it to the refrigerator to cool.
Thank you sir, may I have another…