About this recipe: This is a stunning chocolate cheesecake featuring hazelnuts and hazelnut liqueur. A show-stopping cheesecake, perfect for any special occasion. Chill the cheesecake thoroughly, even overnight, for best results.
Don't overbake: While it may look underdone, a cheesecake is actually done when the centre is still wobbly. Residual heat 'carries over' and the centre continues to cook once out of the oven.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool on a rack, or simply leave the oven door closed, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake cool undisturbed for at least 1 hour. This helps prevent the cheesecake from sinking in the centre. After chilling, the once-wobbly centre should firm up beautifully!
Bake in a water bath: The most effective way to bake a cheesecake evenly without browning the top is to bake in a water bath. Since water evaporates at boiling point, the water bath will never get hotter than 100C, no matter the oven temperature. This means that the outer edge of your cheesecake won't bake faster than the centre, which can cause it to sink and crack.
Mixing matters: Make sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature before mixing, or you'll end up with lumps in your cheesecake. If you do end up with lumps in the batter, give it a quick spin in the food processor for silky smooth results.
Don't forget to chill: A cheesecake needs several hours to chill and set, making it a perfect make-ahead dessert.
This is a fantastic cheesecake...very elegant and rich. I used crushed Oreos instead of chocolate chips and vanilla wafer crumbs on the crust, and the toasted hazelnuts added a perfect touch! I also chopped up some Ferrero Rocher candies and mixed them into the batter before baking. Rave Reviews!!! - 22 Dec 2003 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I wavered between giving this recipe 4 stars or 5. Overall the cheesecake turned out fabulous and everyone loved it! My biggest problem with it is that there was too much semi-sweet chocolate flavor and not enough hazelnut. If I make it again, i will not put the chocolate chips in the crust like it calls for. Something else I was annoyed with was the amount of work I had to put into it (and normally I love a challenge). Just make sure you have a food processor or blender before you start (as a college student, I don't have either of those luxeries so I had to crush all of the chocolate chips by hand which was redundant). Well, i focused so much on the negatives, that, i don't want to leave out any other positives. The cheesecake itself is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous when it is all done. However, instead of dipping hazelnuts into chocolate for the topping, i simply put the chocolate/sourcream mixtre on top of the cake and then sprinkled it with toasted hazelnuts. The taste was outstanding and the texture was great. Overall, I was very pleased...I will keep this one in mind for the future. - 07 Dec 2003 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Be warned, everyone will think you had this cake professionally made. It's very easy to make and everyone absolutely loved it. I recommend using a blender for all crushing. I already have three more orders for this cake. - 17 Dec 2002 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)