Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

IMG_5584I’ve noticed over the years that I am slowly turning into my parents and I got to tell you.  I love it.  I can’t think of two better souls to take after.  My folks are the most simple, honest, hard working, loving and arms wide open accepting people I’ve ever met.  I have traveled quite a bit in my life and come across some crazy that made me want to run back to Ohio and hug my mom and dad.  I get a lot of grief for coming from Ohio, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  My parents and family are the most genuine, open and loving people no matter who you are or where you come from.  Going around the world and living in New York makes me so happy and proud of the life I had the honor of growing up with, because I have met some real messes.  Wow!  I am very thankful.

The Justin’ Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake reminded me as to why I feel like I’m turning into my parents.  I had a jar of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut spread and a tub of mascarpone cheese.  I paced the house, thought about it while on the train and asked friends if they wanted it.  No one wanted it but I can’t throw it away, that’s where I take after my folks.  I can throw away an old tshirt or shoes, but food?  Gasp!  That would just be insanity.  I’ll let it sit in the fridge until it molds then I won’t feel so bad about throwing it away.  It was moldy, I mean, I had to throw it away.  I couldn’t use it for anything.  I feel like if I have something I have to use it.  Even if the recipe doesn’t call for it.

“Can you use these olives in your cheesecake?  I hate to just throw them away.”

When I was growing up I used to watch Great Chef’s on the Discovery channel.  This lady made a chocolate sponge sheet and spread ricotta cheese with hazelnuts, then rolled it up and poured chocolate sauce on top.  I thought that looked like the easiest yet most delicious thing ever.  I still throw this one together from time to time.   I flew to the store and bought all the ingredients and got to work.  There stood mom.
Mom, “Put this in.”
Me, “It doesn’t call for that.”
Mom, “It’s not much anyway.”
Me, “Won’t it ruin it?”
Mom, “Don’t be stupid.”
Me, “That looks like too much.”
Mom, “I’m not putting a carton of cream in my fridge with just a little bit left.”
Me, “But she said….”
Mom, “Yeah, and I said add it.”

The ricotta spread turned out to be a soupy, sweet, hazelnut mess.  My mom’s response, “Huh….I’ll be damned.”  Then went and watched TV.  I stood in the kitchen staring at my bowl of goop wondering what in the hell I could do with it now.  When I called out to my mom what I should do with it, her response?  “How the hell should I know.  It’s your project.”  She may not have known what to do with it but she knew what not to do with it.  Throw it away.  Just telling that story pisses me off.

I like to think I did my Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut spread and mascarpone cheese justice with this cheesecake.  The cheesecake is dense, rich and yet not overly rich or sweet.  Right on the money, I will say.  I won’t tell you not to use Nutella but I will most certainly judge you if you do.  If you tasted Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut spread against Nutella you would understand.

Graham Cracker Crust

1                 package graham crackers
1Tbsp         sugar
1/2             stick butter, cut into pieces
pinch of cinnamon

-throw everything, except the butter in the food processor
-turn the beast on and throw in your butter little by little
-the mixture should be like wet sand
-press this mix into your 8 inch cake pan

Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

378g                mascarpone cheese
221g                 cream cheese
137g                 sugar
7g                     vanilla extract
454g                 Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
4                       eggs

-cream the mascarpone, cream cheese and sugar until nice and smooth
-add your eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl each time to make sure there are no lumps
-add your vanilla and chocolate hazelnut spread, combine

Bake in an 8 inch cake pan at 250 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours.  Turn the oven off and let sit in the oven an additional 20 minutes.

If you have a cheesecake pan with a removable bottom, great!  If not, well, quit being a cheap bastard and go get one otherwise, place the cheesecake in the fridge overnight and pop out the next day.  May take a little heat and force but I have faith in you.

Have a great week everyone!!

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