Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nutella & Kahlua Love

This will be a rather short post, because there are not enough words in any language to describe how much my friend Mel means to me.  She gives me this amazing sense of calm and positive energy and peace that cannot be expressed, but only felt.  She is one of the most incredible human beings I have ever met, and therefore deserves a 21st birthday cake that is equally as incredible.  It needed to be something rich, decadent, slightly sinful, with a whole lot of love put into it.  This is what was born to celebrate the birth of Mel:

Nutella Cheesecake with Oreo Crust and Kahlua Ghiradelli Chocolate Sauce
Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley

3 cups crushed Oreos
2/3 cup unsalted butter (melted)

4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup Nutella
1/4 cup milk

4oz Semisweet Ghiradelli chocolate (finely chopped)
1/3 cup Kahlua
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Crush Oreos with a food processor (or mash out your frustrations with a spoon or your hands if you are me).  Combine with melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9" spring-form pan
Beat cream cheese until smooth
Add in flour and salt.  Gradually add in sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well between each addition.
Add Nutella and beat until smooth.
Pour mixture on top of crust.  Bake at 475°F for 10-12 minutes.  Reduce heat to 300°F and continue baking for another 40-50 minutes.
How to tell when it's done: the edges should appear firm and the middle should still look slightly wet.

Cool on a wire rack for one hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Remove cheesecake from refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes before serving.  Make chocolate sauce and pour into a squirt bottle while you are waiting.  Combine corn syrup, Kahlua, and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and stir until all the chocolate is melted.  Then cool to room temperature and pour into something that you can use for drizzling.  (I like to use those plastic ketchup/mustard bottles you get in the dollar store).

Take a thin steak knife and run it around the rim of the pan before unlatching it and jiggling it free.  (Please note the giant crack that occurred during the cooling process- SAD!)
Birthday girl and her cheesecake!
Drizzle with chocolate sauce and enjoy!
For as critical as I can be about my desserts, I was pretty happy with this one.  Yes, it could have done without the giant crack in the middle, and maybe the Oreo crust was too hard because I didn't have a food processor, but I think the flavor was right on.  Eating this cheesecake gave me the same feeling I get when I spend time with Mel, (well, as close as you can get to that feeling anyway).

Happy 21st, Mel!  I hope it was everything you dreamed it would be.

Love and cookies,

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