It was my birthday on Sunday, hence the peace and quiet from this neck of the woods over the weekend. I have managed to stretch out the celebrations to well over a week, starting with a visit from my mum last Wednesday where I cooked her a great chicken, asparagus and orzo pasta recipe … and finishing (maybe) tonight with dinner with Jo at Mark Sergent’s new restaurant Plum and Spilt Milk in Kings Cross.
The middle bit included dinner on Friday with French friends at Namaste Kitchen in Camden (good but not great) and with Andrew at Marcus at the Berkeley on Monday (not just great but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!). I am a lucky girl, and future posts will include more about my lovely meals.
I am sure it’s similar where you work too, in that it’s traditional to bring cakes to the office on your birthday. I was out on Tuesday night at a Walkers product launch with chef Tom Aiken (yes, you did read that right! I’ll be writing about that experience over the weekend), and ended up drinking too much nice wine to be capable of (or with any desire to) preparing something for my colleagues. Rather than buy them supermarket cakes (I love M&S cakes but there are only so many mini chocolate bites and carrot cakes you can get excited over), I postponed things by a day and took in my goodies yesterday.
And my goodies were indeed good. As well as fairy cakes for those who don’t like anything too sweet (I made a little army of them!) I made the most magnificent cheesecake you can make: Nigella’s nutella cheesecake (although she calls it a hazelnut cheesecake in Nigellisima). It’s probably one of the easiest cheesecakes you can make as well, but it’s very calorific, so don’t make it if you are trying to be good on the diet front, because it will destroy any notions you might have of wanting to lose weight.
Nigella’s recipe can be found here, but I slightly changed it to suit me more (mainly by ditching the hazelnuts as I know some people are not fond of them). I have made the cheesecake before in the winter, and I definitely recommend making it in the summer, as getting Nutella out of a jar when it’s cold is nigh-on impossible. I also recommend buying a jar which is larger than 400g as it means you don’t have to faff around scraping out every last bit of Nutella to get your 400g. Of course, it does mean that you then have another 300g of Nutella to ignore in the cupboard (I am sure you’ve tried it before, but if not, try and eat some straight off the spoon: amazing).
So this is what I did. Give it a try yourself and you will love me forever!
Nutella cheesecake – serves 12 generous slices
250g digestive biscuits, 60g butter, 500g cream cheese, 60g icing sugar, 400g nutella
Blitz the digestives in a food processor with the butter and a spoonful of the nutella. Spread onto the base of a springform tin and refrigerate while you make the topping. For the topping beat the icing sugar in with the cream cheese and then add the Nutella, mixing it together well. Spoon on top of the digestive base and chill for several hours, or preferably overnight.
Eat, and thank me every day for the rest of your lives. Or just eat Nutella from the jar and do away with the recipe entirely.