No Bake Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake with Brown Butter Pretzel Crust and Sugared Hazelnuts
The holiday of Shavuot where cheesecake is customarily enjoyed has long passed, but I still thought I'd share this one I made. After all, it's no bake, which means you can make it all summer long without having to turn the oven on. It also has three interesting layers, each a star on its own, that come together to create a decadent bite. First there's the brown butter pretzel crust. If you've ever had brown butter, you know utterly addicting the nutty aroma and deep flavor is. And in any sweet dessert, I love incorporating a salty component for balance and the pretzel crust was just the perfect choice.
The cheescake itself has some cream cheese balanced with a slightly tart ricotta cheese and whipped cream for airiness. Of course there's chocolate. No such thing as dessert without chocolate. Then you have a generous amount of caramel sauce topped of with some candied hazelnuts. A sort of nutella inspired cheesecake, though it doesn't taste like nutella. Yes, the steps are involved, but well worth the effort. You must give it a try.
In other news, have you noticed anything different? The blog got a makeover. I'm really excited about how things came along, though there are a few things I still need to change and glitches to fix. Please, oh, please let me know if you notice anything off, it would be of tremendous help. I hope you like it. And maybe let's have cake to celebrate fresh beginnings!
No Bake Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake with Brown Butter Pretzel Crust
110g butter, browned*
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups pretzel flour
2 8oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
5oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
4oz. dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup shelled and lightly roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup sugar
Using a 9 inch springform pan, start with the bottom layer by mixing the brown butter, pretzel flour and sugar until moist. Firmly press it to the pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheeses, ricotta and sugar until very smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, lightly whip the heavy cream and gently fold into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the second layer onto the pretzel crust in the pan. In a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Lightly fold the melted chocolate into the cheese mixture, being careful not to over mix so white streaks still show. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight.
Prepare the sugared hazelnuts but melting the sugar on medium heat. Do not stir until sugar is melted. Working quickly, add the hazelnuts and coat them in the sugar, continue cooking until the sugar has caramelized and the hazelnuts are coated.
Remove the cake from the fridge, smother 1/2 cup of
on top and sprinkle the hazelnuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
* to brown butter, simple heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter bubbles and starts browning, remove it from the fire to cool. You will smell an intoxicating,
nutty aroma and become utterly addicted to browned butter.