It’s been looking very savoury up in this joint the past few weeks so I think I need to rectify that.
I am definitely a lover of sweets (I will not have you perusing the last few posts on this blog and thinking I’m not), but sadly I’m not blessed with those genes that means I can eat all the sweets and not put on all the weight. To those of you who do have those genes, I shake my fist at thee and curse loudly.
This Nutella Cheesecakes with Salted Popcorn Crust recipe had been brewing in my mind for some time before I tried it. My ridiculously enduring love of popcorn (as evidenced here, here, here and here) has resulted in it being my go to gluten free replacement – who needs almond meal and rice flour when you can have popcorn crumbs and popcorn flour?
Other than the base a cheesecake is gluten free, so with a wheat intolerant colleague who is constantly uttering “I’ll just eat the filling” at birthday cake celebrations (while trying not to show her disappointment), I started thinking that if you made a crispy salted popcorn base, you could pimp up a cheesecake into some thing awesome AND cater for our gluten free friends.
So, I busted out my 10cm spring forms pans and created this Nutella Cheesecake with Salted Popcorn Crust recipe which yields three baby cakes. You can use a large spring form pan instead to make just one but why have one when you can have three (to hear me wax lyrical about the virtues of multiple baby cakes read this).
The salted popcorn crust brings a welcome salty tang which offsets the filling – a combination of Nutella, cream cheese and mascarpone. Topped with a flourish of Nutella and chopped nuts, they are impressive looking cheesecakes with a great taste to boot… and oh so easy to make!
Nutella Cheesecakes with Salted Popcorn Crust
- 3 cups unsalted popcorn
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 packet cream cheese (225g), softened
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 3 tablespoons nutella, for filling
- 3 teaspoons Nutella, to serve
- handful crushed roasted hazelnuts, to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C.
To make the popcorn crust, place popcorn in bowl of food processor a cup at a time and process until finely ground. In a medium bowl, mix ground popcorn, 1/4 cup sugar, sea salt and butter until combined.
Divide mixture into thirds and then press mixture firmly onto bottom of three 10cm spring-form tins. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
While cooling, mix cream cheese, mascarpone and Nutella in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Spread evenly over the popcorn crust in the tins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
To serve, first run a knife between the cake and the edge of the tin, then open the spring form lever and carefully remove the cheesecake. Top each cake with a teaspoon of Nutella and some crushed nuts.