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Orange Hazlenut Cheesecake

Looking for a dessert to impress? How about something velvety, rich, and satisfying?

Studio 5 contributor Becky Low shares her very own Orange Hazelnut Cheesecake recipe.

Orange Hazelnut Cheesecake
Crust Ingredients:
¾ cup toasted chopped hazelnuts*
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Filling Ingredients:
1 orange
3 packages (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup honey (may substitute 1 ¼-cups white sugar)
3 eggs
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
1 bottle (11-12 oz) orange or lemon curd
Canned mandarin orange slices, drained
Fresh mint leaves, garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. (NOTE: For clean smooth sides on the cheesecake line a 9-inch spring-form pan with 4-inch wide strips of parchment paper; lightly spray or butter the parchment strips.)

Mix together chopped hazelnuts, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and cinnamon. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan; set aside.

Zest orange, measure 2 tablespoons zest and set aside. Squeeze orange, measure ¼-cup juice and set aside, measure 1-tablespoon juice and set aside.

Beat until fluffy the cream cheese and sour cream; add honey and continue to beat; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and ¼-cup orange juice. Stir in zest. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 55-60 minutes or until center reaches 150 degrees – center will jiggle slightly, sides start to puff and surface is no longer shiny. Turn off oven and prop door open, leave cheesecake in oven for 1 hour to partially cool. Remove from oven, run a thin knife around outside edge and cool cheesecake on a wire rack 2 hours. Cover with Plastic wrap and cool 4-24 hours.

Place curd in small bowl and slightly warm in microwave (15-20 seconds); stir until smooth, stir in 1-3 teaspoons orange juice (optional) to thin. Spread curd over cheesecake; garnish with mandarin oranges and mint leaves.

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