BAKING cakes and sweet bakes CHOCOLATE

Hazelnut Cheesecake

April 27, 2009
Another month, another challenge for the Daring Bakers, yet the one thing that hasn’t changed is me typing super fast to make it in time for posting! And to tell you the truth, it is for this very rush that I wait till the last minute to bake. Maybe this leaves me with little time to dress up the baked creation; but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus I can actually eat it while I type!
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake for the challenge. The recipe is a basic one; which means there is a lot of room for creativity. And I really mean *A LOT* I suggest you check out what the other Daring Bakers did to understand just what I mean by that.

I baked the lovely cheesecakes in ramekins to be served individually. I used digestive biscuits instead of Graham Crackers and added toasted hazelnuts while mixing together the crust ingredients in the food processor. And I have got to tell you – the results were AMAZING. Two tablespoons of hazelnuts in the crust transformed the cheesecake for me. I didn’t feel the need for anything more. I now know what food in heaven tastes like! But just to gild the lily, I whipped up some white chocolate ganache and spread it over the cheesecake with Nutella. You could also add a tablespoon of Frangelico in the batter for an even more pronounced hazelnut flavour.
Try it – you will love it! Hope over to Jenny’s blog for some very neat ideas on how you can play with the flavours.

Most definitely one to remake in the (hopefully very near) future!


Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:
FYI, I made 1/3rd the recipe and it turned out beautifully, as you can see. I also tweaked the crust recipe a little by adding 2 tablespoons of ground hazelnuts. Make sure to grind the hazelnuts with the sugar so that it remains powder-y and not oily.

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs (I used digestive biscuits)
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake filling:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
  2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into a 9 inch springform pan or ramekins.
  3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and and blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
  5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes for a 9 inch cake or 15-20 minutes for ramekins or until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.


  • Reply Simran April 28, 2009 at 1:17 AM

    I love your idea of baking the cheesecake in ramekins. Looks good.

  • Reply Maria April 28, 2009 at 12:34 AM

    Hazelnut cheesecake, talk about heaven!

  • Reply Joy April 28, 2009 at 12:39 AM

    Looks AMAZING!!! So so yum!

  • Reply Parita April 28, 2009 at 1:12 AM

    Wow cheesecake looks yum…nice flavor :)

  • Reply arjwiz April 28, 2009 at 2:07 AM

    My God this is gorgeous!

  • Reply Courtney April 28, 2009 at 4:35 AM

    that turned out so beautiful and i love hazelnut so I am sure it was delish.

  • Reply Pearl April 28, 2009 at 5:43 AM

    oh my gosh – hazelnut cheesecake?wow!

  • Reply Deeba PAB April 28, 2009 at 6:27 AM

    It's beautiful…YUM! Love the flavour additions, & the ramekins too! WOW!!

  • Reply Arlette April 28, 2009 at 8:00 AM

    Great Flavours indeed, Chocolate and Hazelnuts
    great job!!

  • Reply Jude April 28, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    A few people baked the cheesecakes in ramekins. This is dangerous, because that means I’ll be making it more often. Great post!

  • Reply vibi April 28, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Ahhh… a pool of the topping please, to swim in! LOL LOL It looks terribly decadent!

    The flavours, textures and all… seem divine!

  • Reply Rachel April 28, 2009 at 8:44 AM

    Nutella and its heaven for me. Love your ramekins too!

  • Reply Arundathi April 28, 2009 at 7:31 PM

    mmm. pls mail me some. i cant seem to lick it off the screen! ;)

  • Reply Anonymous April 28, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    luks aweessomemee bt where did u get hazelnuts frm im frm bombay 2 plsss tell me thnx – shruti

  • Reply MeetaK April 28, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    this sounds totally d’lish! love hazelnuts in cakes!

  • Reply Ramya Kiran April 28, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    Oh my!! That looks gorgeous. I wish i could have a slice. yum yum!

  • Reply nandini April 28, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    that looks so heavenly…. yum .. yum.

  • Reply JMom April 28, 2009 at 10:19 PM

    Hazelnut sound like a yummy flavor for cheesecake. Your photos are beautiful!

  • Reply A_and_N April 29, 2009 at 6:31 AM


  • Reply elra April 29, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    Oh I love hazelnut. This cheesecake must have tasted wonderful.

  • Reply Jenny April 29, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    Yum, I love hazelnut, and think it would be delicious with this cheesecake. Beautifully done!

    Jenny from JennyBakes

  • Reply rajiika April 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    shaheen, that looks SO unbelievably good! hey, i emailed you a couple of days ago. not sure if you’re still using the same address though… im going back to culinary school soon, you interested??

  • Reply Shaheen April 29, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    Thanks, all. :)

    Hey Shruti, you can find the hazelnuts at Crawford Market in town or Alfa in the suburbs.

  • Reply farida April 30, 2009 at 1:36 AM

    This is a very creative twist on cheesecake. Looks very delicious!

  • Reply Anonymous May 1, 2009 at 3:56 AM

    thnx a lott i gt d hazelnuts n ws abt 2 mak it n i saw d recipe
    were do u gt cream cheese???? wud luv it if u wud answer dis 2. . . thnxxx – shruti

  • Reply Shaheen May 1, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    Hey Shruti, I hope Alfa isn’t too far for you because that’s where I got the cream cheese from. Wish you had asked it earlier so you could have bought them both together! I’ve seen Philadelphia cream cheese at Hypercity as well.

  • Reply Anonymous May 2, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    thnxxx i live arnd parle so i pass alfa evryday
    cn u send me a list of plces frm were u get all such thngs that arnt found evrywhere like brwn sugar d ghirardelli chips u used etc – shruti

  • Reply Shaheen May 2, 2009 at 7:56 PM

    Hey Shruti, I’ve just updated my FAQ page where I’ve listed places you could buy ingredients from. I’m afraid Ghirardelli is still not available here :( Check the FAQs here. If you have any more questions, I’m happy to add it to that list:

  • Reply pigpigscorner May 3, 2009 at 4:23 PM

    Hazelnut and cheese….yum yum!

  • Reply Sneha May 4, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    Omigosh! This has got to be tried…Thanks for answering my un-asked ‘Where will I get Hazelnuts in Bombay?!’….I just hope I can get to taste some of this in this lifetime ;)

  • Reply Anonymous May 11, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    Hi Shaheen,

    Where did you pick those ramekins from? Lovely…of course the cheesecake looks yummy in it too :)

    – Mudita

  • Reply Laura May 12, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    Yum! Looks delish!

  • Reply Shaheen May 13, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    Hey Mudita, I got the ramekins from Pier 1 Imports in the States.

  • Reply Disha June 11, 2009 at 8:51 PM

    Hey Shaheen..I just discoverd ur blog n i love it! I bake a lot in my spare time too..Im gonna try making cheesecake this weekend..I'm from Bombay too! Do u know any place here where i'll get a springform pan? Would really appreciate ur help..Thanks!

  • Reply Shaheen June 12, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    Hey Disha,

    I'm happy to know you enjoy my blog! Where in ombay are you from? I'm not sure where you'd find a springform pan. I got my cousins in USA to get it for me. But you could try these in ramekins which are more easily available. Le Creuset has pretty ones though they have a steep price. Otherwise you could get borosil ones which are quite sturdy as well.

  • Reply Ingrid June 23, 2009 at 12:02 AM

    I, too love the rush of adrenaline from leaving things to the last minute! :)

    I'll take that bite!

  • Reply Sonny July 27, 2009 at 6:57 AM

    Hazelnut Cheesecake is one of my favorite dessert, thanks for this post.. :)

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  • Reply Siddhi July 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Hi Shaheen,

    Could you tell me the size of the ramekins you use for individual servings of dessert? Am planning to order some from the US, and I’m wondering what sizes to get for desserts and savoury dishes. Would 6 oz. and 9 oz. work well?

  • Reply Kasturi July 12, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    Hi Shaheen,

    The hazelnut cheesecake looks super yummy….Am from bombay too and itching to start baking after going through your blog….i am an amateur, in the sense am all theory and no practice as yet. I heard some mention of a culinary school…would you be able to let me know more on it…would be a great help!!….i eitherway plan to follow some of your easy recipes to begin with…

  • Reply Maya November 26, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    can u pls tell me where will i get cream cheese from in Colaba / south bombay?
    Wat brand?

  • Reply Minal Rajan February 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Hi! Shaheen
    Got hazelnuts — not roasted but plain. Should I just stick them in the oven fr a fe minutes to roast & release flavour? Or use them plain?
    Suggest an alternative to Philadelphia cream cheese … I use the Mascrapone from Flanders for the unbaked versions — A few companies from North India have started making Mascrapone & Ricotta but I believe you cant bake with Mascrapone… it curdles? Also find Ricotta too have & not crumbly. You know or have tried anything but Philly? … I just find it too exhorbitantly priced… a big cheesecake requires 3 packs! :(

    • Reply The Purple Foodie February 9, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      Hi Minal, Roasting the hazelnuts until they are fragrant would be a good idea. I love the flavour of Philadelphia cheesecake too much to want to substitute it. I know of people using part hung yoghurt and part Philly cheese for baked cheesecake recipes – I haven’t tried it though. I haven’t baked with mascarpone or ricotta for the same reason above. :)

      • Reply Utsav February 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        Hi,I wanted to know where can I get ladyfingers in Mumbai for Tiramisu or baking Em would be a good idea..Is mascarpone bad for baked cheesecakes??Thanks for the help and I really find your blog delicious!!

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    I wanted to try this recipe, was not able to…I needed to get the cream. Thanks for the tip on placing the dish in a pan of water…that works!

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  • Reply ambika February 18, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Hi….went to Arife in Andheri to look for baking stuff like u’ve suggested….just found that the phily cream cheese has been kept outside on their shelves and not in a refrigerator as indicated on the packaging….is that ok????

  • Reply priya February 12, 2013 at 8:30 AM


    Can you pl. help me with heavy cream.
    What is it? is it same as whipped cream.? I am not able to find heavy cream
    i stay in delhi


    • Reply Shaheen February 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Hi, You can you Amul cream instead.

      • Reply priya February 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        thanks shaheen
        you mean the amul – fresh cream?
        i checked out in the store. this is what they have..

        also can you pl/ tel me what is cacao nibs -for the biscuit base?

        thanks :)

  • Reply priya February 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    thanks shaheen
    you mean the amul – fresh cream?
    i checked out in the store. this is what they have..

    also can you pl/ tel me what is cacao nibs -for the biscuit base? like where can i get it in delhi.

    thanks :)

  • Reply menakshi March 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Hi, can i substitute the eggs with flaxseed powder if i want an eggless version? Else please advise a substitute for eggless version. Thanks.

    • Reply Shaheen March 12, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      I’m sorry, I haven’t tried making this eggless.

  • Reply sam April 15, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Hi Shaheen
    I made dis hazelnut cheesecake n u know what it turned real delish
    Thanxs buddy
    I used hide n seek biscuits with crushed hazelnuts n d crust ws awsome.

  • Reply Chloe January 16, 2015 at 7:08 PM


    How many Ramekins did your 1/3 recipe make?


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