Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hazelnut Brownie Cheese Cake (The Perfect Valentine Dessert)

I love anything made with a Hazelnut flavor. That includes Toasted Hazelnuts and any recipe made with them, Hazelnut Liqueur and Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. I often combine all of these flavors in one recipe. I recently won second place in our local Holiday Cookie Contest with a Hazelnut Cookie.
I consider this to be one of my decadent desserts. You know? the one where your family and guests think you're a great Pastry Chef!
This would be the perfect Valentine Dessert.

Hazelnut Brownie Cheese Cake

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" Springform Pan brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

1 Box of your favorite Brownie Mix. I use Ghirardelli.
1 1/2 C Dark Chocolate Chips (Ghirardelli)
12 oz. of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
8 TBS Butter, softened and divided
2 C thawed Cool Whip
1 C Mini Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 C Whole Milk
2 tsp Vanilla
1 small Jar of Nutella (I heat the jar, slightly, in a microwave if it's too difficult to spread)
1/2 C Toasted and Chopped Hazelnuts. (I toast them on the stove in a dry Cast Iron Skillet for a few minutes)
1 Jar of Hot Fudge Sauce for Garnish.

Bake the Brownie Mix in the Springform Pan according to package directions.
Remove to a rack and cool completely.

In a small glass microwave safe bowl:
Chocolate Chips
Heat and melt until creamy smooth. Stir often.
Set aside to cool.

Cheese Cake Filling:

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Cream Cheese
Beat until well combined at least 3 minutes.
Slowly add the melted chocolate. Stirring until completely incorporated.
Remove bowl from the Mixer.
Fold in Cool Whip by hand.
Fold in Mini Chocolate Chips by hand.

Spread the Nutella evenly over the cooled Brownie.
Sprinkle evenly with Chopped Hazelnuts.
Pour in the Filling and carefully spread over the Nutella and Hazelnuts.
Cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

When ready to serve, release the Brownie from the Pan and transfer to a Serving Platter. I always leave the bottom of the Springform Pan intact. You don't need to try and remove the Brownie from the bottom of the pan.
Drizzle individual servings with Hot Fudge Sauce.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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