Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Truffles

Steve Leon from the Cheesecake Factory stops by Good Day to celebrate National Cheesecake Day. He makes truffles using cheesecake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Truffles

Cheesecake slices - We suggest The Cheesecake Factory "Original" and Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers
Raw, Whole Hazelnuts (preferably without skin)

Begin with your favorite Cheesecake. Remove any loose decorations or whip cream rosettes. Use a small 1 oz. scoop to scoop the Cheesecake into round balls. Place scoops onto a wax-paper lined sheet tray. Place tray in the freezer for 1 - 2 hours to "deeply chill" the Cheesecake balls. Keep in freezer until ready to use.

Meanwhile, using a double boiler over low heat, heat the Dark Melting Wafers to approximately 100' F.

Meanwhile, place Hazelnuts in a heavy saucepan in a single layer. Place over medium heat. Stir approximately every minute. Cook 5 - 10 minutes or until browned and they begin to give off a nutty aroma.

Note: If you're using roasted Hazelnuts instead of raw nuts, we recommend roasting them again to help activate the natural oils and wonderful aromas.

Remove Hazelnuts from heat immediately so they don't overcook. (Keep a close eye on them when cooking as they will go from brown to burnt very quickly.) Allow Hazelnuts to cool slightly before chopping.

Note: if using Hazelnuts with skin on, place cooled nuts into a clean, dry towel and roll vigorously between your hands to remove the skin.

While the Hazelnuts are still slightly warm, use the side of a chef's knife to crush them (similar to crushing garlic) and then coarsely chop to approx. 1/8" pieces.  Sift the chopped nuts through a stainless steel strainer to remove any dust, and transfer the nuts into a glass bowl.

Remove Cheesecake balls from freezer & completely submerge in the heated Chocolate.  Remove with a fork and "bounce" the fork on the surface of the chocolate to allow the extra to drip-off. Use another fork to transfer the dipped-cheesecake ball onto the wax paper-lined sheet tray.  Sprinkle the top of the Truffle with chopped hazelnuts. Transfer decorated Truffles to serving tray.

If making ahead of time: Transfer to a Tupperware container and store in freezer until ready to serve.  (May be stored up to 2-3 weeks.)  At least one hour before service, transfer to the refrigerator and serve from a refrigerated state.

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