This is it…the moment you’ve all been waiting for….The best cheesecake ever…nay, the MOST INCREDIBLE AWESOMEST CHEESECAKE EVER. Yeah, I am that guy. How dare I be so brash and obtuse, and say that it’s so amazing? Well it’s partly because I have a very refined palate, so you can trust me, but heck don’t just take my word for it, look what the locals are saying:
"The most incredible Cheesecake ever" - The Baltimore Herald-Tribune "Nossi has done it once again, and he's also a super amazing person" - Everyone I know "Is this thing on?" - my grandmother
I joke…But seriously, this cheesecake is the best cheesecake you will ever have…so stop what you’re doing, and go shopping, you have a cheesecake to make.
This is a pretty simple recipe, except for the crust, which wasn’t hard, but I wouldn’t use the term “simple” to describe it.
I got this recipe from Kosher Gourmet Cooking, and I didn’t really deviate that much from it.
First the crust – It’s basically your typical graham cracker crust, which is basically smashing a bunch of graham cracker in a food processor, and pour some melted butter in there, along with some sugar, and press it into a spring-form pan, and bake it. This recipe calls for toasted slivered almonds along with the graham crackers. So first I toasted the slivered almonds, and melted the butter. Then when it was all cooled down, I threw in the graham crackers, and the almonds with some sugar, and pulsed until it was crumbs. Then I threw in the cooled down butter and pulsed a few more times to combine. Pressed that to the bottom of the pan, and let it bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, or until browned a little.
This recipe calls for you to tightly wrap the pan with three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. I did that part, and that’s why there’s aluminum foil on the outside of the pan, but it also says to bake the cheesecake in a dish with enough water to come up the sides of the pan. I didn’t do that part, because I don’t have a roasting pan that can fit the spring-form pan.
On to the filling
Most cheesecakes will be some sort of variation on cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, with whatever else in there, but this one has mascarpone (pronounced: mas-car-poh-ney if you’re pretentious) cheese. What is mascarpone cheese? Why – it’s an Italian triple-cream cheese made from creme fraiche, denatured with tartaric acid, duh (thank you wikipedia). Basically – it’s a soft type of sweet cheese, which can also be used to make tiramisu. The addition of the mascarpone cheese makes a huge difference. Most cheesecakes are just a little tart and tangy, and this was sweet and creamy and luscious, and amazing.
Let all the cheeses come to room temperature, and beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar, until a creamy consistency
Beat in the lemon juice, and vanilla, and add the eggs one at a time, waiting for each one to incorporate.
Then just pour the mixture into the pie crust, and bake at 325 for about an hour or so. The middle should be slightly jiggly. It will be all puffed up, and look like it’s going to explode, so let it rest a little, and it will sink back into place.
To make the Nutella drizzle - take a 1/2 cup of Nutella, and 1/4 cup heavy cream, and mix it together, and microwave for about 1 minute, stopping the microwave and stirring every 20 seconds. (There’s a big warning on the side of the Nutella container saying: Don’t microwave…we’ll show them, but I guess if you don’t stop the microwave every 20 seconds, something really bad will happen…almost like our burnt popcorn mishap which happened in the Fogel residence the other night…it still smells like burnt popcorn in my microwave…yeah – next time you see a popcorn wrapper saying: don’t microwave more than 5 minutes, leaving it in for 6 is definitely not a good idea).
Mascarpone Cheesecake with Nutella Drizzle
- 1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- For the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. (If you have a large roasting pan – Place the springform pan in the pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan). Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
- For the topping: Combine the Nutella and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend, about 1 minute.
- Cut the cake into wedges. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the wedges and serve