Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nutella Cheesecake, take two.

So I have done this one before but I have decided I like this new recipe better. It's smoother, and denser than the other recipe I have used before. They are both good, but this one is the better of the two, in my humble opinion.

I was asked by my mom to make dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner (we have our fancy dinner on Christmas Eve). I went through a couple of different recipes, all of which sounded really really good, but also all of them were really high in sugar.  Since 2 of our family are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (me being one of them), I decided I would do something a little less sweet so we could all enjoy it together. (I might still try the other two options I contemplated at a later date).

Anyhow, I went looking for a plain ol' regular NY style cheesecake recipe that I could tweak a bit by adding some Nutella swirls to the batter before baking (again, did it before, but used the Lion House cheesecake recipe).  I found a great recipe on and I want to share that one with you, as well as some tips and tricks I have found that make your cheesecake really smooth and silky and delicious.

So here we go, I hope you have as much fun with this as I did!

Nutella Cheesecake

15 graham crackers, crushed
1/4 c butter (half stick)
2 tbsp sugar

4-8 oz blocks of cream cheese
4 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar (or 3/4 each white sugar and Splenda which is what I did because of the diabetes)
3/4 c milk
1 c sour cream (I used Daisy Light, worked fine)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 c all purpose flour

1/2 to 3/4 c Nutella, or store brand chocolate hazelnut spread

First, set out your eggs and cream cheese for about half an hour to bring them to room temperature.  This part is very important (which I didn't realize til doing it this time) because it makes your batter smooth and creamy instead of wet and lumpy.  Cold cream cheese doesn't beat as smoothly as room temp cream cheese does.

While waiting for your cream cheese to warm up a bit, preheat oven to 350 degrees, and make your crust by combining graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 2 tbsp sugar together in a ziplock bag.  (I usually put the whole grahams in the bag, then roll over them with a heavy rolling pin til crumbs, and then dump in the sugar and butter and mash the bag til everything is coated and combined) Press this mixture into the bottom (not up the sides, just on the bottom) of a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside to let cool. (this sets your crust to make sure it doesn't fall apart or crumbs don't float up into your cheesecake.)

Once all is brought to room temp, beat cream cheese and sugar (and splenda if using it) in a stand mixer.  Beat well until smooth and all combined.  Add eggs, one at a time beating until combined and smooth.  Add milk, and then vanilla and sour cream and flour til all are mixed well and you have a smooth batter about the consistency of crepe batter, and not lumpy.

In the microwave, heat Nutella for about 30 seconds to a minute to soften it and make it easier to pour.

Pour half the cheesecake batter onto crust, then add half the warmed Nutella.  Use a chopstick or something of the like to marble the Nutella (draw lines through it, and then lines going the other way).  Pour the rest of the cheesecake batter into the pan, and repeat Nutella process a second time.  This makes sure you get Nutella going through the whole thing rather than just the top part of the cheesecake.

Place two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil on the countertop, so they are crossing each other (like a + sign).  Place cheesecake pan over top of the foil and wrap the sides of the pan with the foil.  Place wrapped cheesecake pan into a large rectangular pan (I used my roasting pan).  Place in center rack of oven, and pour enough water into the roasting pan (NOT IN THE CHEESECAKE--this seems obvious, but just re-affirming.) about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.

Bake for 1 hour.  Leave in the oven for about 2 hours to continue cooling inside the oven (this helps prevent cracking, the slow cool down process reduces the sudden hot/cold stress on the cheesecake and therefore stops the cracking).  Place in refrigerator to cool completely, at least 2 hours, and serve chilled.

Yields about 12 servings.