14 Feb Valentine’s Day Roasted Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake
Okay. Everybody owes me five bucks. As predicted, February is indeed Chocolate Month. In fact, my favourite treat gets a tad grabby and lays claim to Celebration of Chocolate as well. Honestly, how’s a poor dented shopping cart to compete against the sex appeal of the cocoa bean? Confused? Don’t worry. I’ll tell you all about Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month — once you fork over the dough.
In honour of Valentine’s Day, which I usually ignore, I decided to bake a decadent dessert. Now amaretto might be the liqueur of love, but I can live without the chocolate almond combination. The union I adore involves roasted hazelnuts. So, here is my recipe for a smooth, rich and sinfully delicious dessert. Don’t worry about the calories. Only a few bites will leave you satisfied. And everyone knows the same law of physics that restricts the speed of light also puts a cap on calories. It’s absolutely impossible to consume more than 197 calories at dessert on Valentine’s Day — providing you return your shopping cart.
How good is this? This is my plate 1 minute in.
Roasted Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake
Serves 1 (okay 8 real people or 12 magazine food editors)
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Chill time: Eternity
- 1 1/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (or 1 cup graham crumbs and 1/4 cup cocoa powder)
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted and chopped finely
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 500 grams (1 pound) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 6 squares (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 250 ml (1 cup) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
- 4 squares (4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 300F
- Toast hazelnuts for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, melt 6 squares chocolate for filling.
- When hazelnuts are roasted, roll in a tea towel to remove skins, then chop very finely.
- Combine crumbs, hazelnuts, and sugar. Mix well. Pour melted butter over the crumb mixture and combine well.
- Press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.
- Bake 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, beat cream cheese until smooth.
- Beat in sugar, a few spoonsful at at time.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Combine melted chocolate and sour cream. Stir gently into the cream cheese mixture.
- Add vanilla and liqueur, mixing until well blended.
- Pour over baked crust and bake 1 hour in a water bath. (To do this, put aluminum foil over the bottom and sides of the pan. Set cheesecake pan in a larger pan. Fill larger pan with enough hot water to come 1 inch up the sides of the spring form pan. Why? This prevents the cheesecake from cracking. Honest!)
- Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in oven to cool for 1 more hour.
- Once the cheesecake is cooled, melt the remaining 4 squares of chocolate. Stir in the melted butter.
- Remove collar from spring form pan and spread chocolate over top of the cheesecake, allowing some to drip down the sides for effect.
- Sprinkle with hazelnuts and chill overnight (A few hours is fine. Who can wait that long?)