I finally joined pinterest a couple of weeks ago and all of the delicious looking Nutella recipes inspired me to experiment with my baby cheesecake technique. I basically replaced the semi-sweet chocolate chips in my Dad's recipe for the same amount of Nutella.
The other surprise is the tang and texture that comes from the addition of mayonaise to the cream cheese base, one that you wouldn't think would work but now I can't imagine it any other way. A dollop of vanilla flavored sour cream replaces the traditional whipped cream (and I think makes them look even more adorable). A drizzle of Nutella finishes the baby cheesecakes, utilizing a plastic zip top bag snipped in the corner as a makeshift pastry bag.
Baby Nutella Cheesecakes
1 package (about 8 full squares) of graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 a stick of butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Using the food processor, grind up the graham crackers into crumbs. Add the sugar and salt, pulse 3 times, then add the melted butter. Pulse a few more times and transfer to a small bowl, being sure to scrape any butter trapped under the blade.
Add 1 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs to each well of the 24-mini muffin pan.
From trial and error, I figured out the best way to make a perfect crust for the baby cheesecakes. Using a second pan, I press down on the first pan to create a compact and even crust. Bonus points if some of the crumbs come up the sides. Repeat with the second pan.
Bake for 5 minutes at 350 F. Let cool while you prepare the cheesecake.
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of mayonaise (Hellman's preferred, if only for nostalgia's sake)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
6 oz of Nutella
Let the cream cheese, mayonaise, eggs, and nutella come to room temperature. For best results, let cream cheese sit overnight and the mayo and eggs brought out 1 hour before you want to bake, just to come to room temperature. Combine the cream cheese and mayonaise with a hand mixer. Add the sugar then add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and 6 oz of nutella.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into a large zip top bag in order to even distribute the batter.
Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Fill the wells almost to the top. Lightly tap the pans to get rid of any bubbles.
Bake for 12 minutes at 350 F. The tops will be puffed. Let cool while you prepare the sour cream topper.
Sour Cream Topper:
1 cup of sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients and spoon into a sandwich sized zip top bag
Cut a small hole in the bag and fill the divets in the cheesecakes created from cooling. Bake for 2 more minutes, let come to room temperature, then refrigerate for 2 hours. To remove, use a butter knife slightly warmed with hot water to most cleanly retrieve your baby cheesecakes
Serve chilled to your party guests. I added a little drizzle of nutella to the top to echo the flavor in the cheesecake (okay, because it was cute). These are adorable, festive, and delicious!