Samstag, 22. Oktober 2016

Hazelnut Cheesecake

Fall being my favourite season, I have to celebrate its beginning by using all of the wonderful fruits I can now harvest. Unfortunately, the squirrels in our garden seem to be super busy and I am never quick enough to collect more than a handful of hazelnuts or walnuts.
But those are just about enough for this wonderful hazelnut cheesecake - a really comforting cake for rainy fall days!

I do encourage you to freshly roast and grind the hazelnuts yourself- it really makes all the difference and the cake will be so much more delicious!

For a 20 cm/ 8 inch cake you will need:

  • 1/3 cup of shortbread or graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 cups cream quark (or full-fat cream cheese)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts plus some for decorating
  • 70g dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F).
2. Line a springform with baking parchment, butter the sides of the pan. For the crust, crush shortbread or graham crackers. Mix crumbs with melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan.

3. Dry-roast the hazelnuts in a pan. Allow to cool. Grind the nuts.

4. For the filling, beat together the cream quark and sugar. Add one egg at a time and continue beating. Add the cocoa powder and hazelnuts.

5. Place an oven-proof bowl of water at the bottom of your oven.
Pour filling into the springform, place above the bowl of water and bake at 160°C for about 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave to rest inside for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be somewhat wobbly, but that's exactly what you want it to be like.

6. Once you take the cake out, leave the cake inside the springform to cool and cover it with a big bowl or cloche. This way it will keep wonderfully moist.

7. To decorate the cake, melt the chocolate and 1 teaspoon of butter (in the microwave at low or over a waterbath) and pour over completely cooled cake. If you wish, add some caramel-dipped hazelnuts; they will give the cake a spectacular look, but the cake is just as delicious without them.
(There are numerous instructions online, but I really like Martha Stewart's version)

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