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WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH HAZELNUT CRUST

3/4 cup hazelnuts (about 3 1/4 ounces)
12 whole graham crackers, broken
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), finely chopped
3 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325F. Grease
9-inch-diameter springform pan. Wrap aluminum foil around outside
of pan. Place hazelnuts in pie pan and roast until brown, about
15 minutes. Transfer to kitchen towel, cover and let stand 5
minutes. Rub hazelnuts with towel to remove husks. Chop coarsely
in food processor. Add graham crackers and sugar and process until
fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and process until crumbs begin
to stick together. Press crumbs into bottom and 1 inch up sides of
prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool crust on rack.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until light
and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating
well after each addition. Mix in white chocolate and hazelnut
liqueur. Pour filling into crust, covering completely.

Bake cake until edges are set and center moves only slightly when
pan is shaken, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on
rack. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours. (Can be prepared 2
days ahead.) Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen.
Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Cut into wedges
and serve.

Serves 10.

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