Decadent Chocolate, Caramel and Hazelnut Cheesecake

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While I’ve been getting my fatpants out of the closet again, it seems my sweet tooth isn’t satisfied for the year just yet. There’s more elastic to be used in that waistband and I won’t let it go to waste. It’s the season to be jolly after all, and apparently to be jolly, you have to be at least a little chubby – just look at Santa. Now that’s all just kidding of course. But nothing wrong with some good old amazingly creamy cheesecake. I will be serving this cake for some guests who are coming around tomorrow (31st) – not in the evening though because I have a whole other (deep-fried) spectacle coming up for that..The details of which I will post here tomorrow!

Here’s where I have to make a confession: I had never made a cheesecake (succesfully) until today. It only reminds me that I am certainly not a master baker yet, plenty to learn! I have gathered some awesome tips that made this cheesecake a success, among which the wrapping of the tin in aluminium foil before placing it in the water bath so no water can get in (although some did, my foil should’ve been bigger..). Anyway, this cheesecake is perfect for this time of year, when the range of fruits isn’t exactly wide or exciting (read: apples, pears and bananas). It contains one of my new favourite products, Dulce de Leche. You could use tinned caramel if it’s available to you though! When you take a bite of this cheesecake, you’ll get crunchiness from the cookie bottom, creaminess from the cheesecake and dulce de leche and then a nutty, crunchy suprise on the top. I used the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Days. Absolutely gorgeous!

 

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Chocolate, Caramel and Hazelnut Cheesecake
yields 8-12 slices
equipment: 20cm/8 inch round cake tin (preferably springform pan), deep roasting tin, aluminium foil

Ingredients:


Base:

220gr digestive biscuits
100gr unsalted butter

Cheesecake:

700gr full-fat cream cheese
120gr caster sugar
3 eggs
50gr dulce de leche/tinned caramel*
50gr dark chocolate broken into pieces

Topping:

4 tbsp dulce de leche/tinned caramel
50gr hazelnuts, roasted and chopped into halves

1. Line the base of the cake tin with baking parchment.


2. Process the biscuits into fine crumbs in a food processor with blade attachment. You could also place the biscuits in a plastic bag, seal it and crush the biscuits with a rolling pin.


3. Melt the butter, add to the biscuit crumbs in a bowl and stir together. Tip the biscuit mixture into the tin and press it firmly in with a spoon. Place in the fridge and chill for 20-30 minutes.


4. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F. 


5. Make the cheesecake topping. Cream the cream cheese and sugar with an (hand-held) electric whisk until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time mixing at medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Make sure not to overmix, as this can cause cracks in the cheesecake when baked.


6. Set a third of the cheesecake mixture aside in a separate bowl. Stir the tinned caramel in the remaining two thirds and spoon into the cake tin onto the biscuit base.


7. Melt the chocolate au-bain-marie, leave it to cool slightly and stir into the cheesecake mixture that you’ve set aside. Spoon this mixture onto the caramel mixture in the tin and smooth over. 


8. Wrap the cake tin in aluminium foil so that no water can enter the tin, folding it slightly over the sides of the tin. Place the tin into the roasting tin. You want to place the roasting tin into the oven and then pour the hot water into the tin to prevent spillage. Fill the roasting tin until the water is about 5mm(1/4inch) from the top of the tin. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the cheesecake is darker around the edges and firm to the touch. It should have a slight wobble in the middle.


9. Once baked, allow cheesecake to cool in the tin (to room temperature). Then place it in the fridge for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight.


10. Remove the cheesecake from the spring-form tin, then top with the dulce de leche and sprinkle with hazelnuts.


*To make Dulce de Leche, put a tin of condensed milk (without the label) into a pan with boiling water and boil for 2,5 hours. Make sure the tin is under water at all times. I cannot stress this enough. If the tin is exposed, it can explode. I always check at least every 20 minutes and keep a kettle of (boiling) water ready to add if needed. It is well worth the wait as the flavour is amazing!


Source: Cake Days



12 comments

  1. Valerie says:

    this cake looks amazing and very unique! can you please clarify – should the water be cold or hot when it’s poured into the tin? happy new year!

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