Yesterday was Andy's birthday! The title of this post refers not to him, though—in lieu of a traditional birthday cake, I made him a Mascarpone Cheesecake with Almond Crust and Nutella Topping. Oh, behave! It was a recipe from
Giardia Giada, and it turned out positively delicious, although I'm not sure why the center didn't set up quite as nicely as the rest.
1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup whipping cream
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350°.
Tightly wrap the outside of a 9" diameter springform pan with 2 3/4"-high sides with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325°.
For the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
For the topping: Combine the Nutella and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend, about 1 minute.
Cut the cake into wedges. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the wedges and serve.