- cheesecake pan with removable bottom
Chocolate shortbread crust
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Wrap a 9-inch or 10-inch cheesecake pan with two layers of aluminum foil. Lightly spray the bottom and sides with oil.
Bake the crust
- In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and cocoa powder.
- Add the cubed cold butter.
- Rub the butter against the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press the mixture evenly on the bottom of the cheesecake pan.
- Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
- Remove the pan from the oven and rest on a wire rack to cool.
Mix the cheesecake
- Place the cream cheese in the mixer bowl.
- Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at MEDIUM speed until light and soft, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently.
- Add the three-quarter cup of sugar and teaspoonful of salt. Beat at MEDIUM speed for another minute.
- Turn the mixer to LOW (because you do not want air bubbles to form). With the motor running, add one whole egg to the cream cheese. Wait until the egg has been fully incorporated before adding the next, and so on. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding each egg.
- Fold in the cream.
- Scoop out about three tablespoonfuls of the mixture and set aside.
- Fold in the vanilla extract, coffee and Nutella.
- Pour the cheese-Nutella mixture over the baked crust.
- Take the reserved cheesecake mixture and spoon into a small piping bag or a Ziploc bag with one corner snipped off.
- Squeeze the mixture to form small dots around the surface of the cheesecake. You can have three circles of dots or just one. It’s up to you.
- Drag the tip of a wooden toothpick to connect the dots to form hearts.
Bake the cheesecake
- Place the cheesecake pan in a larger pan.
- Pour hot water into the larger pan until the water reaches halfway up the cheesecake pan.
- Bake at 300F for two-and-a-half to three hours or until firm but still jiggly at the center.
- Peel off the aluminum foil (this will prevent condensation between the foil and the bottom of the pan which can make the crust soggy).
- Place the cheesecake pan on a rack and cool the cake to room temperature.
- Run a butter knife around the cheesecake. This will make releasing the cake from the pan later much easier.
- Wrap the pan with aluminum foil or cling wrap and chill the cheesecake for several hours, preferably overnight.
- Unwrap the cheesecake pan.
- Gently release the cake from the pan.
- Slice and serve.