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Nutella S’mores Cheesecake

Feb/07/2021 / by team-seema

A perfect cheesecake every time you make it! A silky, creamy nutella filling with roasted marshmallows and buttery crust is an ultimate treat for any occasion!

Kitchen has been my comfort place in times of stress or happiness. My ability to whip up quick meals gives me the confidence to make any place feel like home! I have moved a lot as a kid and have had the opportunity to stay in different countries to try their cuisines and take a piece of them and include them in my palette. My family belongs to the state of Uttar Pradesh, India and primarily I have lived in New Delhi and Pune, India. After finishing my high school in India, I came back to the United States of America to pursue my education. I graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a Computer Science degree and moved to Virginia, US, in 2017 for a job as a Software Professional. When not at work, I like to experiment in my kitchen and invite family and friends over to taste my new creations.

Being the oldest, I helped out my mother a lot in the kitchen, at the age of 9, I wanted to do everything that my mom did but, I started small with pouring the cake batter into the pan, helping with the groceries, preparing for dinner or snacks. I loved everything about this part of my home from the shiny utensils, the beautiful pots and pans with our family name inscribed on it (a very common thing in India is to have family names in hindi inscribed on steel and copper plates and pans), the hustle and bustle of the morning before everyone has left for school/office. As a young girl, I watched all the Masterchef seasons and the Nigella Lawson show that aired on television after school which gave me an insight to the different cuisines and the unique ingredients. I dreamt of having my own kitchen one day, with recipes from my mother and grandmothers and me hosting my family and friends with plates of warm dishes and wine.

At college, I was the person who knew the most basic and advanced cooking, I was fortunate enough to get a dorm with a fully functional kitchen. I hosted my friends for all the holidays for four years and every year the feast got better and better. It was only after moving to Virginia in 2017, that I started to actually experiment and make unique dishes. I got the chance to eat at the local DMV hidden gems and connect with more Professional Chefs and grow as a home cooking enthusiast.

One dish that I came across on one of the Masterchef Seasons was the New York Style Cheesecake. It’s this amazing dessert that is served cold and has this buttery sugary crust and a soft, creamy yet firm layer of flavored cream cheese filling and topped with fresh seasonal fruit or the variety of toppings that are available. This dessert is so versatile for any formal or casual events. I’ve had a variety of them served in a professional setting and to my friends’ birthday parties. The fact that it is so easily customizable for each season or theme, makes it my absolute favorite dessert.

I started my cheesecake journey 2 years ago with a no-bake version for a friend’s birthday. While the no-bake is delicious it starts to melt at higher temperatures. My worst fear with the baked cheesecake was splitting the cream cheese. So after some research and practice, I overcame my fear of splitting the cream cheese and gave it a try to bake it. It failed, not a surprise, given that I did not use a water bath, it was all dry and hard and really not appetising to look at! I gave it another try and it worked, I got the perfect ratio and the perfect balance! Since then, I have baked several cheesecakes of so many flavors.

My kitchen experiments have led me to a perfect foolproof formula to the cheesecake of your dreams, the crust is buttery, the filling is decadent, it’s a simple yet elegant dessert! If you plan ahead, prep all the ingredients and have the patience to wait for 8-10 hours to let it set in the refrigerator, you’ll have mastered this dessert and will be able to create your own favorite fillings and toppings!

This Nutella dessert in my household is a must bake, at least once a month.

NOTES:

Contains: Dairy, Eggs, Nuts.

Alternatives to Eggs: 1 tbsp cornstarch + ¼ cup of flour

The cream cheese needs to be at room temperature for perfect whipping.

Time:

Prep Time: 30 mins

Resting Time: 1-1.5 hours

Refrigeration Time: 8-10 hours

Cooking Time: 55-60 mins 325F, 10 mins

Tools:

6 inch Springform Pan (a 9 inch would be perfect)

1 baking sheet

Aluminium foil

Oven safe pan for a water bath, bigger than your springform pan

Saucepan

Wooden Sticks 6 inch (optional)

Hand mixer or electric mixer or whisk

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

For filling:

  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese 16oz
  • Heavy Cream ⅔ cup
  • Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
  • Nutella 1 cup
  • Granulated Sugar ¼ cup or to taste
  • Cocoa Powder 1 tbsp
  • Eggs 2

For crust:

  • Graham Cracker 1 packet
  • Hazelnuts Chopped ¼ cup
  • Butter Salted 4 tbsp Country Crock
  • Granulated Sugar 2 tbsp

For Ganache:

  • Nutella 1 cup
  • Heavy Cream ¼ cup
  • Vanilla Extract ½ tsp

For Garnish:

  • Mini Marshmallows 10-15, Big Marshmallows: 2-3
  • Graham Cracker ½ packet.

Instructions:

  • Make the crust:
    • In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers, hazelnut and the sugar. Slowly add in the melted butter, if the crust mixture seems too crumbly, add in more butter.
    • Take a 6 inch springform pan, press the crust mixture against the bottom so it forms a crust a little less than ½ inch.
  • Preheat the oven at 325F.
  • Make the filling:
    • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese at room temperature for 3-5 mins. Add in the sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well (5-6 mins).
    • Add in the nutella and cocoa powder. Make sure everything is mixed well so no lumps are remaining. A smooth and silky mixture should be ready.
  • Bake the crust:
    • When the oven is preheated, on a baking sheet, place the springform pan with the crust and cook in the oven for 5 mins. If there is a lot of butter or if the springform pan is not tightly sealed, some butter may leak, keeping a baking sheet under it helps with cleanup.
    • When the crust is ready, let it cool down for 2 mins and wrap the pan in 3 layers of aluminum foil. This will prevent any water from entering the pan when placed in a waterbath.
  • Prepare the water bath:
    • In a saucepan, heat up 3-4 cups of water depending on the size of the pan that will contain the cheesecake.
  • Assemble and Bake the Cheesecake:
    • In the springform pan, slowly add in the cheesecake mixture, get rid of any air bubbles.
    • In a bigger pan, place the springform pan first and then slowly add in the water through the sides, the pan should have enough water so 1/4th of the springform pan is submerged in water.
    • Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake the cheesecake for 55-60 mins. The center should still be jiggly but not runny.
    • When ready, turn off the oven, and pop the door open for 15-20 mins.
    • Take the pan out carefully, as it may contain hot water and take the springform pan out and carefully open up the foil.
  • Resting the Cheesecake
    • Let the cheesecake cool down completely before placing it in the refrigerator. This is essential to have the perfect creamy, silky texture.
    • When the cheesecake is cooled down, take a knife and run it along the sides.
  • The Ganache:
    • In a small bowl, microwave the heavy cream for 1 minute in a 30 seconds interval, when hot, add in the 1 cup of nutella and vanilla extract, mix until smooth and shiny.
    • Pour the prepared ganache over cheesecake. Remove any air bubbles.
  • Refrigerate it for 6-8 hours.
  • The Garnish:
    • Preheat the oven at 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place some mini marshmallows and one or two big marshmallows on a wooden stick and place the sheet in the oven for 4 minutes and the last two minutes at Broil.
    • Take the baking sheet out and place the marshmallows on the cheesecake. Crush a graham cracker on the cheesecake for the cracker dust.
  • Serve with Hot Chocolate or wine! Make it festive! Enjoy!

It may seem overwhelming but, once you start practicing it and make it more and more it’ll be muscle memory. Cheesecakes are a great skill to master and are so versatile, you can make it festive or casual and just with a few basic ingredients. Since this dessert requires a lot of resting/refrigeration/cooking time, I try to include as a part of my other kitchen tasks and it makes the wait seem less painful! If you follow the recipe and the notes you’ll have your kitchen smell amazing with the Nutella and the butter graham crackers! If you want to say hi or have any questions about this recipe feel free to contact me on IG. If you want more such recipes and want to know more about my food journey, follow me on IG @cardamom__saffron.

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