Dark Chocolate Cheesecake with Nutella Chocolate Ganache

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my foodie friends!! Where did 2012 go?? I swear we welcomed 2012 just two months ago! Anyway, my new year resolution is to always keep things short and simple. Sometimes things get so complicated that we forget to stop and smell the roses. Always appreciate what you have and look on the brighter side of things. What is your new year resolution?

My aunt wanted me to make something chocolate-y for Christmas. I knew EXACTLY what I was going to make as I’ve been patiently waiting for an entire month! My mom had also brought back bars of chocolate from Italy for me. Everything played out so perfectly. I saw this AMAZING post by Ambitious Kitchen and got all googly eyed when I saw the pictures. Cheesecake + Nutella = OMFG! What was interesting was that it had Greek yogurt.. something I’ve never seen before, but it was FANTASTIC!! Are you ready for this….? I’m still not sure if I am…

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Under all of that chocolate and cream cheese, somehow, somewhere, a light and fluffy cheesecake is produced. I don’t know how, but let’s just say Monique is a genius! It was my first cheesecake ever and I’m glad I chose this recipe to pop my cheesecake cherry. IT WAS A TOTAL HIT.

Let’s start the new year off on the right foot. Greek yogurt is good for you, right? So is dark chocolate. So is a handful of nuts. There you go, a healthy start! Heehee May your 2013 be full of love and happiness!

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*instead of using 3 bricks of full fat cream cheese, I used 2 regular and one 1/3 less fat. Also instead of heavy cream in the ganache, I used 1% milk.

DARK CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH NUTELLA CHOCOLATE GANACHE
Adapted from: Ambitious Kitchen

3/4 C. FAGE 2% Greek yogurt
24 oz. (3 bars) cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 large eggyolk
1-1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. unsweeted dark cocoa powder
10 oz. 72% dark chocolate, chopped

CRUST:
1 C. hazelnuts
25 Oreos
1/4 C. butter, melted

Nutella Ganache
1/4 C. Nutella
1/2 C. heavy cream
2 oz. 72% dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 C. toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 tsp. coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place the hazelnuts and Oreos into a food processor and grind them or place into a large freezer ziplock bag and roll with a heavy rolling pin until consistancy of sand. Place crumbs into a large bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until it looks like wet sand.

Pour into an 8″ or 9″ springform pan and press onto the bottom and sides of the pan forming a crust and making sure the thickness is even all around. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and set aside.

To make the cheesecake batter, melt chocolate until smooth in either a double boiler or microwave. If using the microwave, make sure to melt the chocolate using half power and in 30 second increments. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, set aside.

In a mixer, beat yogurt and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix until just combined. Next add the eggs and eggyolk and mix until combined. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate until completely combined. Pour the mixture into the crust. Tap the pan to release air bubbles.

Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. The cheesecake is ready when you move the pan and the cheesecake moves like jello. Leave in the oven with the door crack open for 2 hours. Transfer into the refrigerator.

To make the ganache, place nutella and chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream until almost boiling and pour over the chocolate and nutella. Stir until smooth. Pour over the cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and salt and put back into the fridge, preferably overnight.

Serve right out of the refrigerator.

Chocolate on chocolate..
Drooolaaaage…

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