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I consider myself a fairly generous person, especially when it comes to baking. I love to share.

Except for Nutella. Don’t touch my Nutella.

Seriously.

I will threaten anyone, even those I love dearly, with infinite pain if I catch them even eyeing my Nutella supply.

Generally, an early warning system kicks in whereby I will give the person-in-question/potential victim the chance to escape in one piece.

“Step away from the Nutella!”

Should that warning go unheeded, I am not to be held responsible for the outcome, regardless of how ugly.

This deep devotion to Nutella extends beyond my complete unwillingness to share it with anyone. My love also manifests itself in the desire to mark World Nutella Day.

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As far as I’m concerned it ranks almost right up there with Christmas.

For those of you that don’t know, February 5th marks the day that Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy, Michelle from Bleeding Espresso and Shelley from At Home in Rome have annointed as the day to celebrate the most glorious of chocolate spreads.

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I went Nutella-crazy this year because I’m already going through a fairly stressful period at work. And everyone knows the best cure for stress is lots of Nutella. I made a Nutella Ripple Cheesecake that I covered in ridiculous amounts of Nutella and crushed hazelnuts so as to add some nutritional value.

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See. I’m as health conscious as the next person.

I used a past Daring Baker’s challenge as the base recipe for my cheesecake. With a few adjustments and lots of Nutella and frangelico, I think I did a valiant job in paying homage to one of the best days of the year.

Happy Nutella Day! Just remember, stay away from my Nutella!

Ciao!

For details on how to participate in World Nutella Day, click here.

Nutella Ripple Cheesecake
Based on Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake.

Note: You’ll need a 9-inch cheesecake pan for this recipe. You’ll also need some heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap the pan in. Because the cheesecake is baked in a water bath, you don’t want any of the water to seep into the bottom of your cheesecake. Wrapping the pan in foil prevents that. You will also need a larger pan that you can fit the cheesecake pan into for the water bath.

For the Crust:
2 cups chocolate crumbs (you can use Oreo crumbs or chocolate wafer crumbs)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. sugar

For the Filling:
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
3 tbsps. Frangelico
1/2 cup Nutella (the Nutella has to be fairly liquidy so I recommend warming it in a double boiler so you can drizzle it easily)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a kettle full of water to boil for the water bath.

2. Combine all the crust ingredients and pour into your cheesecake pan. Press the crumbs firmly so that they cover the entire bottom of the pan (no need to push crumbs up the side of the pan).

3. In a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. There should be no cream cheese lumps.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.

5. Add the vanilla extract, the heavy cream and the Frangelico and mix until smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

6. Pour half the cheesecake batter over the prepared crust. Drizzle the Nutella over the batter and then top with the remaining cheesecake batter. Fit the pan into a larger pan and pour in the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Be careful not to spill any water in your cheesecake.

7. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven. Bake for at least 45 minutes. The cheesecake should be set around the edges but still fairly wobbly in the middle. If not, continue baking for another 5 minutes and check again.

8. When the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in there for an hour to set up.

9. After an hour, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and discard the foil. Place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

10. Once the cheesecake is cool, place in the refrigerator until it is very cold (at least 6 hours). If you can leave it in overnight, that’s even better.