Nutella Mousse Cheesecake
Decadence knows no bounds here as the chocolate and hazelnut Nutella blends spectacularly with cheesecake flavors and a chocolate cookie crust. This gets such luscious creaminess and dimension from a little mascarpone and a good helping of fresh whipped cream that I call it a mousse cheesecake. The cake comes together easily, but the results suggest that you slaved all day over it. A Ferrero Rocher chocolate hazelnut candy makes a fun garnish, but you can omit if you like. Serve the cake cold from the fridge as it softens quickly at room temperature.
- 1½ cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (scant) salt
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone
- 1 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut paste
- 6 Ferrero Rocher chocolate hazelnut candies, halved
- Combine the crumbs and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, add the vanilla to the melted butter, then pour over crumbs and stir to coat well. Firmly press moistened crumbs in an even layer on the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and transfer to refrigerator to chill.
- Add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt to a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, beat the whipping cream on high speed. After it starts to gain volume (about 1 minute), add the mascarpone. Continue beating just until the mixture holds soft peaks (another 1 to 2 minutes). Use a spatula to fold in the Nutella in three additions. Set aside.
- With the same electric mixer (no need to clean the beaters), beat the cream cheese mixture until smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Then use the spatula to fold the Nutella-cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture. When mostly incorporated except for a few lumps, beat with the electric mixer on low-medium speed for about 45 to 60 seconds until smooth.
- Transfer to prepared pan and smooth the top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. To serve, run a knife between cake and edge of pan, then loosen and remove the side of the pan. It’s easiest to serve the cake right from the pan bottom; the filling is very soft and leftovers should be promptly returned to the refrigerator. Garnish slices with a chocolate hazelnut candy half, if desired.