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From northern Italy to Seattle, a chocolate hazelnut cheesecake.

From northern Italy to Seattle, a chocolate hazelnut cheesecake

Italy's candy of hazelnuts (filberts) and milk chocolate is named gianduia, after a legendary hero from the northwestern region of Piedmont. Fran Bigelow, a Sattle pastry maker, takes this confection one step further and makes a gianduia cheesecake, with a splash of hazelnut liqueur for emphasis.

Because the cake is rich in flavor as well as ingredients, a little goes a long way; this small cake adequately serves 6. You can find hazelnut milk chocolate in bulk in some candy shops; others sell it as candy 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 roasted hazelnuts 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 and cream and beat until smoothly blended.

Coarsely chop chocolate with hazelnuts and place in top of double boiler; set over hot water to melt. Stir melted chocolate and liqueur into cream cheese mixture.

Butter a 6-inch cake pan. If pan bottom is not removable, line with 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 slightly above the rim to protect pan from seepage. Pour cheesecake batter into pan.

Set cake pan in a slightly larger pan and place in the middle of a 350| oven. Add boiling water to larger pan until it is about 2/3 up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cake is set in center when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Let stand until cool, then cover and chill at least 1 hour or as long as 7 days.

Run a knife around pan sides. If pan has removable bottom, remove sides 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 plate together and quickly flip; lift off pan and peel paper lining from cake bottom. Lay a small serving plate on cake; holding the two plates together, quickly flip. Dust cake top lightly with powdered sugar and cut into wedges. Accompany with whipped cream. Makes 6 servings.

Roasted hazelnuts with chocolate. Put 2/3 cup (3 oz.) hazelnuts in a 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 brown skin as possible. Make a paste of nuts by whirling them in a food processor or blender. Combine with 5 ounces chopped milk chocolate. Melt as directed above.

Photo: Chocolate with roasted hazelnuts gives bonbon character to small, rich cheesecake
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipe
Date:Jan 1, 1985
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