A creamy topping accents each beautiful slice of the outstanding dessert shared by Leah Gamss of Spring Valley, New York. "It's spectacular-looking as well as scrumptious," she writes.
- 1-1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 ounces finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 2/3 cup white baking chips
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- In a small bowl, combine the wafer crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
- Divide batter into thirds. Into one portion, stir in hazelnuts. Pour over crust. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set. Into second portion, gradually stir in melted chocolate. Spoon over bottom layer. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until set.
- Spoon remaining batter over top. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- For topping, combine the white chips, water, corn syrup and coffee granules in a small saucepan; cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Serve topping with cheesecake; garnish with hazelnuts. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Layered Hazelnut Cheesecake in Taste of Home August/September 2004, p4-5
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