Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CHOCOLATE-HAZELNUT CHEESECAKES FOR 2

Sometimes kitchen experiments don't work out. We've all had disasters in baking. But when our creative efforts produce something worthy of our praise, it's a glorious day. And the day I made these chocolate-hazelnut cheesecakes was a glorious day!
I love the challenge of working with ingredients at hand and trying to make them into something delicious. A can of mixed salted nuts which yielded exactly enough hazelnuts for this small dessert, a block of Neufchatel cheese, heavy cream, Greek yogurt, hazelnut liqueur and imagination were the components of a memorable dessert.

I carried the chocolate hazelnut theme all the way through: from the chocolate-hazelnut crust to the chocolate-hazelnut filling to the chocolate-hazelnut creme fraiche, this dessert has the milk-chocolate hazelnut taste in every bite. It doesn't taste like Nutella. But it is definitely hazelnut and definitely chocolate. And most definitely delicious. If you have the ingredients and two (4-1/2") springform pans, you are all set for a taste adventure.



Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecakes for 2
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Rating: 9 out of 10

INGREDIENTS:
Non-stick cooking spray
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. salted hazelnuts, skin on, divided use
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2-1/2 Tbsp. + 1/3 cup sugar, divided use
1 Tbsp. cocoa, divided use
2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. hazelnut liqueur, divided use
1 (8-oz.) pkg. Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. non-fat vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
1/2 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate, 60-70% cacao

For crust, heat oven to 325F. Spray two (4-1/2") springform pans with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In work bowl of food processor, pulse hazelnuts, just till coarsely chopped. Reserve 2 Tbsp. for topping. Add flour, 2-1/2 Tbsp. sugar, and 1-1/2 tsp. cocoa to work bowl, and pulse till nuts are finely ground and ingredients are well mixed together. Add melted butter and 1 tsp. liqueur and pulse again till well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of pans. Bake 7-8 minutes, or just till set and beginning to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For filling, wipe work bowl clean with damp paper towel. Pulse 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese with remaining 1-1/2 tsp. cocoa and remaining 1/3 cup sugar till well blended and smooth; scrape down sides. Add egg, and pulse briefly, just to combine. Scrape down sides. Add vanilla, sour cream, remaining 2 tsp. liqueur, and melted chocolate; pulse briefly to combine. Scrape sides and bottom with spatula, making sure there are no lumps and all ingredients are distributed well. Pour carefully into cooled crust. Bake at 325F about 25-30 minutes, or till sides are puffed and set but center is still jiggly. Place cheesecake in a closed area (such as a microwave oven) free of drafts for one hour while it cools and continues to cook. Transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Serve plain or with chocolate hazelnut creme fraiche: In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tsp. cocoa, and 1-1/2 Tbsp. 10X sugar. Beat till stiff. Slowly beat in 1 Tbsp. vanilla Greek yogurt and 1 tsp. hazelnut liqueur. Serve over cheesecake and sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp. chopped hazelnuts over top.

21 comments:

Sophie said...

Wow.....Judy!! This is pure perfection!!
What a lovely twist on a normal cheese cake! i love it!!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh Judy.. This sounds absolutely delicious.. and it looks so pretty..

Barbara Bakes said...

How great to have a cheesecake recipe that only makes two servings!

Cheri Sicard said...

I always love the chocolate hazelnut combo, so this sounds great to me. And the small serving size does sound great.

unconfidentialcook said...

Now, these are right up my alley. And that chocolate hazelnut creme fraiche...what a topper!

teresa said...

YUMMY! This looks fantastic! I love cheesecake!

Sara said...

I love that this is for two, oftentimes I want dessert but I don't want to make ten servings! This looks delicious.

Reeni♥ said...

What delicious flavors!! I love that you can make two servings and not have a lot of leftovers, very clever! They look divine!

Lynda said...

I'm drooling, Judy, these look fantastic! I love that the recipe is for 2, that will be perfect for my husband and I.
It's also a really great picture!

Amanda said...

Judy this looks and sounds wonderful!

Linda said...

I love hazelnuts and I love and I love cheesecake... it looks fabulous... it's a must try...

I know exactly what you mean about the "non-successes" in the kitchen... I think people think I sit with my feet up eating bon bons... there is always that recipe.. I just don't think came out good enough to be "blog worthy"... so back to square one... etc...

I'm glad this one worked out for you... thanks for sharing!

Coleen's Recipes said...

I love hazlenuts. I'm putting this on my list of "plan to try" recipes.

Debbie said...

I couldn't possibly think of a better dessert. Looks wonderful!

Hairball said...

Yum!!

Melissa @ For the Love of Health said...

That looks really good! :-)

Yummy!

Kerstin said...

Looks fantastic - I love chocolate and hazelnuts together!

biz319 said...

Judy, these look amazing!!! Great job!

Juliana said...

Never had this flavor of cheesecake...sounds and looks great. Should try it.

JohnGL said...

Chocolate cheesecake. Must try this...

Elyse said...

Judy, you are the best experimenter ever!! This cheesecake looks divine, and I just love that it involves Neufchatel. I love that cheese and I love saying its name :) I'm so sorry that it's taken me so long to get around to commenting; I'm in the middle of exams right now, and my google reader has been somewhat neglgected. Anyway, this cheesecake looks fabulous!! Whenever I get back to NC, can I come bake with you??

Judy said...

Elyse, I would so love to have you come over and bake with me. I know I would learn something, because, girl, you are the confection queen!