Espresso-Hazelnut Cheesecakes with Orange Caramel Sauce
- Biscotti Crust, recipe follows
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely ground toasted hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico, or other nut-flavored liqueur
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened espresso concentrate
- Clear Orange Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
- Biscotti Crust:
- 6 hazelnut biscotti cookies
- 2 teaspoons finely ground toasted hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dried fine bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Clear Orange-Caramel Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 (10-ounce) disposable paper coffee cups with vegetable cooking spray. Divide the biscotti crust (about 3 1/2 tablespoons for each) among the prepared cups. Press down to make a thick bottom crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before filling with the cheesecake batter.
Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees F.
In a large bowl fitted with an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Add to the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
Beat the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla together in a small mixing bowl. Add to the cream cheese mixture in 4 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add 1 cup of the sour cream and beat to blend. Pour half of the batter into another bowl. To 1 bowl add the hazelnut paste and liqueur, and beat to blend. To the remaining half, add the espresso and beat to blend.
To make the sour cream topping, whisk the remaining 2 cups of sour cream and 1/4 cup of sugar together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup of the hazelnut mixture into each prepared cup, and top with 1/4 cup of the espresso mixture. Bake until set, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and top each cheesecake with 1/4 cup of the sour cream topping. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Refrigerate until completely cooled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, run a small sharp knife under hot running water. Carefully run the knife around the inside edges of each cup to loosen the cheesecakes. With kitchen shears, cut away the cups and place the cheesecakes, crust side up, on dessert plates. Spoon the orange-caramel sauce around each cheesecake and serve.Biscotti Crust:
Process the biscotti in a food processor on high speed to make fine crumbs.
In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, hazelnuts, sugar, and bread crumbs. Add the butter and blend with a fork. Set aside until ready to fill the cups.Clear Orange-Caramel Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, orange zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves, stop stirring, and continue to cook until the mixture thickens and turns golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the orange juice (the mixture will bubble slightly). Return to medium-high heat and stirring constantly, cook for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl and cool to room temperature before serving.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
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