Another year! Another chance to live, laugh and do what I love! There are a lot of plans and resolutions in mind which I will put on paper one of these days. For a sweet beginning to the new year, here is a recipe for a scrumptious cheesecake requested by my son for his birthday. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted to have, he said “Can a cheesecake be made with chocolate and hazelnuts?” Well, no doubt it can!
My basic cheesecake recipe comes from one of the numerous Dr. Oetker cookbooks. I have changed a thing or two over the years to suit my taste. This time I added chocolate and hazelnuts to it and I didn’t pre-bake the crust as recipe directs, since it always turns too dark and burnt tasting. I just poured the cheesecake batter right onto the unbaked crust and it turned out just right baked together. I also prefer quark cheese for the cheesecake since it is so much lighter than the common American cream cheese, but it was way too expensive, so I went for what is known in the US as Neufchâtel or Farmers’ cheese and has a lower fat content.
Chocolate swirl cheesecake topped with toasted hazelnuts
- 150 g (5.3 oz) flour
- ½ TSP baking powder
- 75 g (2.6 oz) sugar
- 1 pack of vanilla sugar (or 1 TSP vanilla extract)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 75 g (2.6 oz) butter (softened)
- Flour for kneading
- 750 g (26 oz) cream cheese (used Neufchâtel, but quark cheese is the best)
- 200 g (7 oz) sugar
- 3 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 50 g (1.7 oz) corn starch
- 3 eggs (divided)
- 250 ml (1 cup+2 TBSP) heavy cream (whipped)
- 100 g (3.5 oz) semisweet chocolate
- 50 – 75 g (1.7 – 2.6 oz) toasted hazelnuts (coarsely chopped)
Also needed: 25 cm (10 inch) round cake spring pan
- For the crust combine all dry ingredients, add 1 egg and butter and mix it at medium speed until well blended. Transfer the dough on a floured surface, knead it for a minute, wrap in plastic and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting prepare the filling. First divide eggs and beat egg whites until firm. Set aside. Next whip the heavy cream and set aside. Lightly toast hazelnuts and chop them coarsely.
- Mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks and lemon juice until smooth and creamy, add corn starch and mix for another minute.
- Now add in whipped cream and fold in egg whites by hand. Melt the chocolate over the hot water bath. Take about 1/5 of the cream cheese mixture and place it a small mixing bowl. Pour melted chocolate inside and mix well.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and divide into 3 equal parts. Roll 2/3 of the dough and place it onto a greased spring cake form. From the remaining 1/3 of the dough make a long rope and press it into the wall of the cake pan. Pour the filling into the unbaked crust, pour the chocolate mixture on the top and make swirls all around with a tooth pick. Top with toasted hazelnuts and bake at 175 C or 345 F for about 45-50 minutes. ***Since I made the cake at night, preparation photos were too dark, so I will not post them this time.
Here Birthday Cheesecake just ready for the oven:
Baked, cooled down and ready to cut into it:
First slice for the Birthday boy:
The next day, a break from painting and a piece of cheesecake. Yum!