Monday, 27 February 2012

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies with Toasted Hazelnuts

I was requested a Nutella themed homemade birthday gift from my Nutella loving friend last week, so I obliged with these babies.

Yes, these are as rich as they look and sound!!! But oh so yummy!!!

I searched for Nutella based recipes and found some very yummy looking baked treats. I am a huge brownie and cheesecake fan, and I love the combination of the two so I decided to do a Nutella version of this.

I found a few recipes, but none were quite what I was looking for.

This one here looked really delicious so I used it as a basis, but wanted to keep the cheesecake element white and decided to try piping Nutella on top to add a soft Nutella hit!  The toasted hazelnuts on top added a much needed darker flavour and crunch.

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies with Toasted Hazlenuts.
Adapted from a recipe from Alpineberry.

Brownie Layer
- 140 grams of melted butter, allow to cool
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 cup of golden castor sugar (or regular castor sugar)
- 3 tablespoons of cocoa

Cheesecake Layer
- 250 grams of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/3 cup golden  castor sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup of plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste

- 1/2 cup of hazelnuts toasted, skins removed and cut in half
- Extra Nutella to pipe

- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius
- Grease and line a 20cm x 28 cm slice tin
- Mix together the wet ingredients for the brownie until well combined - I just used a wooden spoon
- Mix in the dry ingredients until well incorporated
- Spread brownie mixture evenly in prepared tin

- In a mixer (or by hand!!!!) mix the cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth, light and fluffy
- Add the eggs gradually until well incorporated and the mixture is smooth and fluffy again
- Gently mix in the flour until well combined, but don't over beat at this point
- Pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownie mixture and spread out evenly on top

-Fill piping bag with Nutella and dip the nozzle in to the cheesecake mixture and pipe nutella dots or flowers in any formation you like.  I (clearly!) didn't go for anything too pretty or perfect looking!

- Scatter the toasted hazelnuts over the top

- Bake for about 40 minutes - depending on your oven and the tin you used.

- Allow to cool before cutting it in to small pieces

I packaged up the treats for the birthday girl in a white cardboard food box and used the stamps she gave me to add some theming to the lid!

I also had been recommended by the lovely Cat to try the homemade Nutella recipe that is David Lebowitz's wonderful blog.  I made a batch of this for the birthday girl too.  Recipe can be found here. I did sieve my Nutella, but not in a super fine sieve so there was a bit of texture which I liked.  If you are chocolate and hazelnut crazy, you should try this recipe for sure!!! My only issue with it, is that it only lasts 1 week in the fridge...I gave away 4 jars and still have some here that I don't want to eat all on my own!!!

I think (hope!!!) the birthday girl was happy with her gifts!

Love Amy xoxo