Sometimes hazelnut flour is sold as meal. If you find toasted nut flour (or meal), skip step 2.
2.25 ounces hazelnut flour (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
Baking spray with flour
1 1/2 cups 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, sprinkle hazelnut flour evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until the color of peanut butter, stirring once. Cool.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, oil, and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg whites; beat until well blended. Add liqueur; beat 1 minute.
Weigh or lightly spoon all-purpose flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine hazelnut flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and dash of salt in a bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Beat at low speed 1 minute. Spoon batter evenly into a 9-inch springform pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 300°.
To prepare cheesecake, place cream cheese and ricotta cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add 3/4 cup sugar and next 6 ingredients (through egg yolks); beat at low speed until smooth. Add pumpkin; stir gently until combined. Pour cheesecake batter over top of cooled cake. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
To prepare brittle, cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 14 x 2-inch area on paper; sprinkle nuts inside marked space. Place 1/3 cup sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 2 minutes). Continue cooking 1 minute or until golden (do not stir). Drizzle caramelized sugar over nuts. Let stand 10 minutes or until firm; break into 14 pieces. Slice cheesecake into 14 slices; top each serving with about 1 1/2 teaspoons whipped topping and 1 piece brittle.
Nutrition Note: If you substitute an equivalent amount of whipped cream for the whipped topping to garnish, you will add 10 calories, 6g fat, and 1g sat fat to each serving.
You can find hazelnut meal at any store w/ a bulk section: Whole Foods, Central Market, etc. A cup of hazelnut meal cost me ~$1.50 at Central Market. I think it's really misleading for people to give bad ratings when they haven't even made the recipe. It's not CL's job to limit their recipes to only things people outside of major metropolitan areas have access to.
I thought this turned out great. I followed the recipe almost exactly except as suggested by another reviewer, increased the spices in the cheesecake and added a little cocoa to the crust. Did 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and a whole tsp of cinnamon instead of the 1/2 called for. Something to watch out for though, is to be really careful with your oven and timing when you're toasting the hazelnut meal: at 5 minutes when I went to stir, mine was half burned already. I did have some extra when I bought bulk, so I toasted what I had left and added a tbsp of godiva cocoa powder to help make up for the slightly reduced quantity.
I made this dessert for Thanksgiving to go along with my "Traditional with a Twist" Thanksgiving theme. I wanted a dessert with pumpkin, but didn't want to make pumpkin pie, so this quickly became my choice. I LOVED this dessert and so did all of my guests, but I did have to make some changes: 1) Could NOT find Hazelnut flour (I suspect you can pick it up at Whole Foods though) so I just substituted Whole Wheat Flour; 2) Since Hazelnut flavor went out the window with the flour sub, I used Capitan Morgans in the crust (and I added 1 tbsp to the cheesecake as well); 3) I added 2 tbsps pumpkin pie flavoring to amp the cheesecake (otherwise, it was terribly bland!). The rest I made as directed and everyone loved it - great creamy texture over a nice firm cake base. I would absolutely make again with my modifications. It's a real stunner with the brittle (one of my guests was so impressed, he actually took a photo! ; ). Make the night before & store covered in the fridge - Enjoy!
I enjoyed the light texture of the pumpkin cheesecake using ricotta cheese. Cheesecake was not too sweet. I liked the hazelnut base - I used hazelnut flavoring from my local coffee shop rather than the frangelico. All in all I got good reviews on my dessert and would serve it at a holiday occasion.
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