This is a very simple and tasty cheesecake with a non-traditional ingredient list, including cottage cheese.
First step - a caramel hazelnut paste. You prepare a caramel syrup, and then stir in chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Once this is cool, you process it in the food processor into a paste (mmmmmm.....)
Now the unexpected cottage cheese step - you drain it for a hour in a strainer, and then process it in the food processor until it is silky smooth.
|Cottage cheese after processing|
To bake the cake, you put the plain batter in an 8" pan, and then top with dollops of hazelnut batter. The cake is baked in a water bath (inside a roasting pan with boiling water), and then cooled and chilled. Once unmolded from the plan, you press graham cracker crumbs on the outside edge (this step was a pain - seems a little fussy, given the ease of the rest of the recipe!).
Here's the finished cake - I think I would try to make the top a little more marbled next time:
We really enjoyed the cake - it's lighter than the traditional cheesecake, but the flavor and texture were very nice, and the hazelnut caramel flavor is a great addition to vanilla cheesecake.