The Cheesecake Factory's chocolate hazelnut cheesecake truffles

- In honor of National Cheesecake Day, which is July 30, The Cheesecake Factory joined us on The Nine to show us how they celebrate their favorite food holiday -- with a unique cheesecake truffle.

This recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Truffles comes courtesy of Paul Kosmides from The Cheesecake Factory at 12 Oaks. To learn more about The Cheesecake Factory, visit www.thecheesecakefactory.com.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CHEESECAKE TRUFFLES

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

Directions
1. Begin with your favorite Cheesecake. Remove any loose decorations or whip cream rosettes.
2. Use a small 1 oz. scoop to scoop the Cheesecake into round balls.
3. Place scoops onto a wax-paper lined sheet tray.
4. Place tray in the freezer for 1 - 2 hours to "deeply chill" the Cheesecake balls. Keep in freezer until ready to use.
5. Meanwhile, using a double boiler over low heat, heat the Dark Melting Wafers to approximately 100' F.
6. 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.
a. 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.
7. 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.)
8. Allow Hazelnuts to cool slightly before chopping.
a. 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.
9. RemoveReRRRRWhile 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Transfer decorated Truffles to serving tray.
13. 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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