From northern Italy to Seattle, a chocolate hazelnut cheesecake Essay

From northern Italy to Seattle, a chocolate hazelnut cheesecake Italy’s candy of hazelnuts (filberts) and milk chocolate isnamed gianduia, after a legendary hero from the northwestern region ofPiedmont. Fran Bigelow, a Sattle pastry maker, takes this confection one step further and makes a gianduia cheesecake, with a splash ofhazelnut liqueur for emphasis. Because the cake is rich in flavor as well as ingredients, a littlegoes a long way; this small cake adequately serves 6. You can findhazelnut milk chocolate in bulk in some candy shops; others sell it ascandy bars. Or make your own mixture. Gianduia Cheesecake 1 large package (8 oz.) and 1 small package (3 oz.

) cream cheese 1/4 cup sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream 8 ounces milk chocolate with hazelnuts (gianduia) or roastedhazelnuts with chocolate (directions follow) 1 1/2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur Boiling water Powdered sugar Whipped cream Beat the cream cheese with sugar until well mixed. Add egg andcream and beat until smoothly blended. Coarsely chop chocolate with hazelnuts and place in top of doubleboiler; set over hot water to melt.

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Stir melted chocolate and liqueurinto cream cheese mixture. Butter a 6-inch cake pan. If pan bottom is not removable, linewith waxed paper; butter the waxed paper. If pan bottom can be removed,set pan on a large sheet of foil and fold edges of foil up and slightlyabove the rim to protect pan from seepage. Pour cheesecake batter intopan. Set cake pan in a slightly larger pan and place in the middle of a350| oven. Add boiling water to larger pan until it is about 2/3 up thesides of the cake pan.

Bake until the cake is set in center when pan isgently shaken, about 50 minutes. Let stand until cool, then cover andchill at least 1 hour or as long as 7 days. Run a knife around pan sides.

If pan has removable bottom, removesides and set cake on a serving plate. If pan bottom is stationary,cover top with waxed paper. Lay a plate on paper; hold pan and platetogether and quickly flip; lift off pan and peel paper lining from cakebottom. Lay a small serving plate on cake; holding the two platestogether, quickly flip. Dust cake top lightly with powdered sugar andcut into wedges. Accompany with whipped cream.

Makes 6 servings. Roasted hazelnuts with chocolate. Put 2/3 cup (3 oz.) hazelnuts ina 9-inch pie pan. Bake in a 350| oven until nuts are golden under skin,8 to 10 minutes.

Let cool and rub in a towel to remove as much brownskin as possible. Make a paste of nuts by whirling them in a foodprocessor or blender. Combine with 5 ounces chopped milk chocolate.Melt as directed above. Photo: Chocolate with roasted hazelnuts gives bonbon character tosmall, rich cheesecake


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