This decadent keto chocolate hazelnut cheesecake has all the flavors of your favorite Nutella spread, without the sugar! A great low carb cheesecake for entertaining, or to keep all to yourself – no judgement here! ??
When we were in Europe this summer we ate a LOT of gelato (not keto, I know.) We had gelato in Madrid, Paris, Santorini, and allll over Italy, with our hand’s down favorite being a place in Rome near the Pantheon called Venchi. They had a wall of cascading melted chocolate behind the counter, and you could smell it from down the street. UH-MAZING.
Anyway, after sampling many flavors of said gelato, my hands down favorite was the Gianduja (pronounced – jahn|DOO|yah) which is a milk chocolate & hazelnut combo that is the signature flavor of the Piedmont region, and what Nutella is basically a commercial version of.
So when we got back to real life (and eating keto) after our trip, I decided that I wanted to create an ode to this chocolate hazelnut gelato in keto Nutella cheesecake form, since not everyone can execute a gelato at home – and pretty much everybody loves cheesecake.
Side point – my second favorite was the pistachio – not sure I can successfully turn that one into a keto cheesecake, but imma try it out soon and report back.
Like all of my favorite low carb cheesecake recipes, this keto chocolate hazelnut cheesecake is made in the blender, so it’s super easy to make and clean up after. You can go the extra mile like I did and pipe some whipped cream onto it for garnish if you’re having it for company, but otherwise the cheesecake is fine on its own.
The pretty chocolate garnish is simply melted dark chocolate swirled on parchment paper and then a hazelnut dropped in the middle with a little extra chocolate on top to “glue” it down. Then chill in the fridge for a few minutes until hardened and peel off to place on the cake. Tasty and beautiful – but again unnecessary if you’re not looking to impress anyone but yourself.
Now let’s talk about this crust. I used a combination of super fine blanched almond flour and whole blanched (no skins) hazelnuts that I ground to a meal in my magic bullet. While you could use all almond flour and just add some hazelnut flavoring to the crust, the ground hazelnuts added an amazingly authentic flavor that is SO. MUCH. BETTER. than simply using the extract.
In fact, if I could have used the hazelnuts in the cheesecake itself without ruining the texture, I would have. Do yourself a favor and source some hazelnuts for this crust – and better yet, omit the almond flour and use only ground hazelnuts for the most amazing flavor.
In Italy, hazelnuts are plentiful and literally grow on trees all over. Unfortunately, living here in Honduras, to get hazelnuts I had to order them in bulk on Amazon and have them delivered to a good friend’s house – who then kindly flew them here in her luggage when she visited us in Roatan last month. It was totally worth the wait!
Here’s a link to the hazelnuts I ordered on Amazon. They are Turkish, not Italian, but the cost was reasonable and the flavor was excellent. If you love hazelnuts and hazelnut flavored everything, I highly recommend ordering some and storing them in the freezer, where they will keep fresh for months and months.
Regarding the hazelnut flavoring in the cheesecake itself, I was using an off brand of hazelnut flavoring, which was the only one I could find here – and frankly the quality wasn’t excellent. So my keto chocolate hazelnut cheesecake, while tasty, didn’t have as much hazel-nuttiness as I would have liked.
If you’re already purchasing hazelnuts from Amazon I recommend also adding a quality hazelnut flavoring like this one to your cart as well. It also makes great keto coffee creamer on the cheap, so it’s handy to keep around. Or if you can get it, McCormick brand found in most grocery stores is usually pretty reliable.
The fact is, this keto chocolate hazelnut cheesecake is going to be delicious either way – but anytime you pony up for quality ingredients, you’re going to get a noticeable difference in flavor. This is also true for the quality of your chocolate and cocoa powder – if it tastes bitter on it’s own, it will taste bitter in your recipe.
Final note – Stevia and chocolate don’t play well together, so I recommend using erythritol (I used Swerve brand) for best results. You can also use xylitol, but it’s toxic to animals – so if you have pets I’d avoid it just to be on the safe side – otherwise it’s a good tasting alternative sweetener.