Friday, June 13, 2014

Nutella Cheesecake Bars FTW

If you are a regular on my blog, you'll know I cook a lot because I simply love cooking. But when it comes to baking, I'm not so keen and am not so good at. To me in cooking you can constantly taste your food and still make changes half way through, but for cakes and stuff once you send into oven, all you can do is to pray that everything will be alright.
I think every time I bake I feel like Christine Ha, the blind Masterchef champion on the episode where they were asked to make a classic American pie...

Truth is, I don't have a sweet tooth anyway. I rarely eat desserts (ice-cream excluded) and I simply can't take cakes that are flour based. There are however some exceptions that I love to eat and am willing to learn how to make it myself, e.g. the Portuguese Egg Tart, which was pretty much the only time so far that I've baked a real sweet pastry.
For the second time, once again it's because of Hayley who shared the recipe. Without a doubt I'm a big fan of Nutella (who doesn't like Nutella???), and the fact that there is an Oreo base pretty much just got me excited about the this Nutella Cheesecake Bars!

Recipe was originally taken from here.
So here are what you need:
2 cups Oreo crumbs (I have to buy Oreo and crumbed them roughly without the cream)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I use brown sugar)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/3 cup Nutella

What to do:
1) Preheat oven to 325F (170C). Butter an 8×8 baking dish and line with parchment paper, making sure that the parchment is well pressed in the corners. Set aside.
2) In a food processor, pulse Oreo until they become crumbs. Add in melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press Oreo mixture evenly into the bottom of your baking dish. Bake crust until set, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3) Clean out the food processor. Add cream cheese, eggs, sugar, ¼ cup heavy cream, and vanilla. Pulse until smooth. Put 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture in a bowl and set aside. (here I use my blender since my food processor is too small for the mixture)
4) Add Nutella and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream to the remaining 1/3 cream cheese mixture in the processor. Pulse until smooth.
5) To assemble, spread the plain cheesecake mixture over the cooled Oreo crust, being careful of the crust. Then pour the Nutella cheesecake layer on top of the plain cheesecake layer and spread evenly.
6) Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
7) When ready to serve, lift the bars out of the pan by lifting up the parchment paper (it should release easily). Cut into 16 squares and serve.

I think for frequent home baker this recipe is really very simple. But it seriously made me sweat like a pig in the kitchen! First of all, I think I either didn't add enough of butter or didn't pound the Orea well that the base wasn't moist enough. Thankfully after the chilling they harden up anyway. Then as I pour the plain cheese mixture onto the base I knew it was too little because I just took out the mixture from the blender based on instinct, no measuring at all! :p
Nutella Cheesecake Bars. Go on, you know you want them!
So as you can see, unlike the original recipe, mine has more of the Nutella mixture in it. It still tasted pretty yummy though! Even my colleagues in the office love it and have went on to bake it themselves! I mean, you can't go wrong with Nutella and Orea lar, they are soooooo good! 
Hmmm... Now what's next to bake?


Hayley said...

Nicely done!

I feel like baking this again, but am down with sore-throat :(

ShiRLeXia said...

Thanks Hayley! Although it was sort of a failed product actually... :p