Tuesday, 1 October 2013

No bake Nutella Cheesecake with Salted Candied Hazelnuts

After a myriad of failed attempts at making macarons, coughs even after using cake mix, I've finally decided to upload a post on my successful attempt in making a no-bake Nutella cheesecake along with the recipe to redeem myself from the shame that is my inability to bake macarons properly, yet.
Anyway, I adapted this recipe from Alvin Quah and combined the best of what both recipes had to offer.
No bake Nutella Cheesecake with Salted Candied Hazelnuts (serves 8)
20 chocolate ripple biscuits
1/2 cup hazelnut meal
100g butter, melted
Nutella Cake:
500g Philadelphia cream cheese
200g Nutella
1/2 cup caster sugar
Candied Hazelnuts:
60g hazelnuts
½ caster sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp ground sea salt
1. Place the chocolate ripple biscuits in a freezer bag and break them up until they resemble coarse sand.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the broken up chocolate ripple biscuits, hazelnut meal, melted butter and nutella until the mixture reaches a wet sand consistency.
3. Press the mixture firmly into a 20cm springform pan and refrigerate for a least 30 minutes.
4. To make the cheesecake mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Be careful to get the cream cheese made specifically for baking, otherwise your cheesecake won't set! You can try but I can't guarantee that it will stay standing for more than 10 minutes, ie. it'll melt.
5. Then add in the nutella and sugar. Beat until well combined and spread the mixture onto the crust. Use a spatula to even out the top of the cake. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight to set. I used the freezer because my first attempt resulted in a cheesecake that couldn't set.
6. To make the candied hazelnuts, preheat the oven at 180C and roast the hazelnuts for 7 minutes. Be sure not to leave them in the oven for too long or they'll burn.
7. Remove from oven and let it cool for 1 minute. Then, wrap them in a tea towel and rub together to remove the skins of the hazelnuts. Discard the skins and set the roasted hazelnuts aside.
8. To make the toffee, mix sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the sugar and continue to cook until it is amber or golden brown. Immediately remove from the heat to prevent it from turning black.
9. Add hazelnuts to the toffee and coat them well. Tip candied hazelnuts on a flat surface on a piece of baking paper. When cool to touch, quickly but gently separate the individual hazelnuts and coat each one with ground sea salt. Alternatively, you can pour the toffee over the hazelnuts to save time. I found it easier to pour the toffee over the hazelnuts.
10. To decorate cheesecake, remove cake from springform pan and carefully place each salted candied hazelnut on the rim of the cake. Decorate to your liking.
11. If you have some remaining toffee left, you can make sprigs of toffee crystals by pouring and spreading the toffee on the baking sheet to garnish on top of the hazelnuts.
Have fun trying this recipe!

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