Ok confession time – I’m generally not a fan of cheesecakes, but I’d gladly make an exception for a good slice of rich and decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake. A couple of years back, I made a full-sized chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake smothered in chocolate ganache and topped with Ferrero Rochers and more hazelnut and I just haven’t been able to take my mind off it since. Definitely not ready for a full-sized commitment, I recreated it in a smaller scale in this Mini Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Bombes, just for two!
This week began with my husband’s birthday and he is no chocolate lover, but last weekend, we had a Häagen-Dazs Belgian chocolate milkshake at the mall and he absolutely loved it- almost as much as I did, so I’m trying to keep the chocolate streak running, in an attempt to choco-train him best I can. So this year, these Mini Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Bombes were his birthday cake! And you know what? He loved it!!!
A tempered chocolate has a very significant ‘bite’ to it – it’s the process that allows you to break into a chocolate bar. I once read somewhere that the cacao molecules are like a pile of bricks in their natural state. The tempering process helps form the bricks into a well-aligned wall, giving it new form, structural integrity and sheen. And despite how intimidating it sounds, it’s actually quite a simple process.
Chop your dark chocolate into shards. Set aside roughly 25% and melt the rest in the microwave (1 minute and then 10 sec increments) or on a double boiler until it melts completely. Check the temperature, it should be between 114 – 118° F (46 – 48° C). Stir in the chocolate you set aside and keep stirring continuously as it cools. When it reaches 88 – 89° F (31° C) , your chocolate has been tempered and you can pour it in molds or work it as you like.
Note: Tempering temperatures are different for dark, milk and white chocolates due to the varying quantities of milk solids in each. Higher the milk content, greater the risk of burning, so keep an eye on your chocolate as it melts.
Dark Chocolate: 114 – 118° F (46 – 48° C) | Milk Chocolate: 105 – 113° F (40 – 45° C) | White Chocolate: 100 – 110° F (37 – 43° C)
Dark chocolate should be between 88 – 89° F (31° C) | Milk and white chocolates should be between 84 – 86° F (29 – 30° C)
Whisk together the cheesecake ingredients until stiff peaks form. It helps to bring the cream cheese to room temperature before you start whisking it. Stir in the nuts and vanilla. To assemble the cheesecake, spoon in the cheesecake filling into the chocolate mold, then top with a round slice of cake. Mmm mm mm!
Refrigerate just for a couple of hours to help the cheesecake set and then enjoy! If you can manage it, add more chocolate decorations on top, just for a little extra oomph. And finally, lick bowl, whisk and anything else that touched the chocolate. But make sure no one is watching you.
Slice in and enjoy this chocoholic’s delight!! The outer chocolate shell is quite hard, thanks to the tempering process, so it takes a little effort to break in. I used a knife to slice it in half and eat it like an apple slice!
A very elegant, cute and tiny dessert, but in all fairness, not that difficult at all, right? And here are some variations (which I would have done myself, if I had them at hand).
– Insert a Ferrero Rocher into the cheesecake center before adding the cake base.
– Instead of using the tempered chocolate in the mold, simply mold the cheesecake and once it’s set, pour over some chocolate ganache.
– Not a fan of chocolate? How about some white chocolate mirror glaze instead?