Cheesecakes are one of those seasonless desserts but once you add chestnuts, it becomes the perfect dessert for winter, especially for the New Year’s Eve. I adapted this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Feast: Food to Celebrate Life. She uses a Graham cracker crust and adds chestnut purée both to the crust and the batter. The cheesecake was easy to make, didn’t have a single crack and had a very nice texture. I skipped the syrup completely and decorated the cheesecake with candied chestnuts.
For the base:
- 1 1/3 cup Graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sweetened chestnut purée
For the cheesecake:
- 2 cups cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 cup sweetened chestnut purée
- Candied chestnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F, line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper, and cover the bottom with two pieces of aluminum paper. The cheesecake is baked in a water bath so it’s important to cover the springform pan very well.
For the base mix the Graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and the chestnut puree, spread it evenly on the prepared pan and refrigerate.
Put the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a food processor with the eggs and the egg yolks, pulse until smooth, add the lemon juice, scrape the seeds of half a vanilla bean and add to the cream cheese mixture, finally add the sweetened chestnut purée, mix well and pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
Place the spingform pan in a roasting pan and pour very hot water into the roastin pan and bake for about an hour, the cheesecake should be set but still be a little soft in the middle, make sure not to over bake it.
Once the cheesecake is cooked, remove it from the roasting pan and let it cool to room temperature, refrigerate for at least 8 hours, overnight is best.
Remove the cheesecake from the pan and transfer to a serving platter, decorate with candied chestnuts if using and cut with a knife dipped in hot water to make clean slices.