These Nutella baked mini cheesecakes are the perfect bite sized treat when you want to plant your face into something decadent, creamy and chocolatey.
I love cheesecakes. I could care less about the fat content or the morbid calories that these treats come with. When it comes to cheesecakes, to me it is go big or go home! However, I’m a lazy person and the effort that you have to put in when making a proper big cheesecake in a spring form tin is way too much, thanks to the Bombay heat!
I could have gone the no-bake way, but lets be honest, a baked cheesecake is far creamier and much more decadent. Besides, these nutella baked mini cheesecakes are perfect when you want something quick and don’t have the patience to cut a slice! #dramaqueen 🤷🏽♀️
There is a ton of flavour and textures going on in this cheesecake. We begin first by making the cheesecake base. Usually, we tend to use crackers or digestive biscuits. But in this recipe, I thought, why not use a cookie that would complement the flavour of the chocolate and hazelnuts. In India, we get a biscuit called ‘Nice’. You would get this in the UK and Ireland as well and they have the same name too, I believe. I remember getting super excited when I found them in Tesco when I was living in Dublin. I obviously got a large packet for myself and finished them in one sitting.
For those who don’t know what Nice is, it’s a crisp biscuit flavoured with coconut and topped with granulated sugar. If you’re a coconut lover, like I am, you will love this cookie / biscuit. So this forms the base of the Nutella baked mini cheesecakes.
Then we move on to making the actual decadent filling with full fat cream cheese, heavy cream and the star of the show – Nutella! It is so easy and the mix is ready within minutes. I like to line a 12 hold muffin tin with cupcake liners and press the crushed cookie crumbs into the base of the liners and baked them till they start smelling deliciously coconutty, about 5 minutes. Then I then poured the mix into the prepared cupcake liners and baked at a lower temperature until they were set.
How to know if your cheesecake is ready?
Unlike cakes and brownies, you can’t really insert a skewer or a knife in the centre as it’s custardy and will come out with liquid stuck to the skewer / knife. The best way to test it is by eyeballing – when you put your cheesecake in the oven, they would look raw, however, once baked, they’d go shiny and a very slight color of brown along the sides. Apart from that, you’d have to jiggle the tray ever so slightly and notice how the cheesecakes react. The sides should stay firm while the middle acts like jelly, being very slightly jiggly. That’s when you take them out of the oven, let them cool down to room temperature and then you can put it into the refrigerator for chilling completely.
When to eat your cheesecake?
I understand how tempting it can be when you see these babies out of the oven. Your first instinct is to dive right in. However, at this stage, the cheesecake is not even a real cheesecake. For these nutella baked mini cheesecakes to taste anything like one, you’d have to cool it down to room temperature and then put it in the refrigerator for chilling completely. That way the custard sets and firms up, the taste and texture is further developed at this time and lends itself to a much creamier texture. I urge you to wait for a full 24 hour period before you eat them.
- 1 packet of nice time cookies (150 grams)
- 50 grams butter, melted
- 300 grams cream cheese
- 200 grams heavy cream
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 75 grams light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 150 grams nutella
- 1/4th teaspoon sea salt
- 60 grams dark chocolate
- 60 grams heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
- Blitz coconut cookies (or any digestive / cookie of your choice).
- Add melted butter and blitz until it retains its shape when pushed with a spatula.
- Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake liners.
- Add the cookie crumb to the base of the cupcake liners and press firmly with an espresso cup or something with a flat surface.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Take it out and let it cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 160 C or 325 F
- Meanwhile prepare the cheesecake filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese and mix with paddle attachment until soft and pliable, about 2 minutes.
- Add the light brown sugar and mix until it goes pale and creamy, about 3 - 5 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and nutella and mix well.
- Then add the sea salt and lime juice and give a good mix.
- Finally add the eggs and mix just until combined.
- Pour into the cupcake molds filling to the top.
- Bake for 15 - 17 minutes until the centre is only slightly jiggly.
- Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely to room temperature.
- Once cool, refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.
- To prepare the ganache, mix the dark chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave at 10 second intervals until the mix looks glossy and smooth.
- Let it cool slightly to room temperature.
- Top the cooled cheesecakes with the ganache and top with chopped hazelnuts.