Easy Nutella Cheesecake Recipe

nutella cheesecake

“….I can dream away a half-hour on the immortal flavor of those cheese cakes we used to have on a Saturday night.”Mary Antin, ‘The Promised Land’ (1912)

 

This is probably the easiest cheesecake I have ever made. It only requires a few ingredients, and it is seriously yum. Not too sweet, not overpoweringly Nutella flavoured, and it makes the perfect end to a meal. It’s also the kind of cheesecake you can dress up or down, depending on the occasion.

I first ate this cheesecake at a friend’s place. My friend is a chef and when I asked about the recipe they were embarrassed. “You don’t want that. It’s so easy,” she said. “It’s barely even a recipe!” Turns out, her eleven-year-old son had made it all by himself from a recipe given to him from a friend’s mother after he’d eaten this cheesecake at their house.

All the better. If a child who doesn’t cook can manage this, anyone can!

I made this for Saturday night dinner, when our friends from the city came to stay. It took just a few minutes to whip up, and not much longer to devour.

Why don’t you try it, and you’ll see what I mean…

nutella

Ingredients:

250 grams sweet plain biscuits (I used a packet of caramel pecan cookies and the caramel and pecans gave a lovely texture and flavour!), 75 grams (5 tablespoons) of butter, 1 x 400 gram jar of Nutella (which is a chocolate hazelnut spread in case you don’t know!), 500 grams of cream cheese, 75 grams (1/2 cup) of icing sugar (confectioners’ or powdered sugar)

I also used a punnet of fresh strawberries and an extra tablespoon of icing sugar for decoration.

Method:

Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and whizz until they are crushed. Then add the butter and a tablespoon of Nutella. Whizz again until it begins to form clumps.

making the crust

 

2014-07-19 11.06.45

*Note – if you don’t have a food processor, place the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Tip into a bowl and add the butter and Nutella and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Tip the biscuit mixture into the bottom of a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin, pressing down firmly over the bottom and slightly up the sides of the tin. Place into the fridge to chill.

2014-07-19 11.13.08

Now cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the bowl of the food processor with the icing sugar. Whizz until it softens and combines. (Can you spy a few biscuit crumbs on my cream cheese? Yes, that’s right. I didn’t bother to wash out the food processor bowl before I used it again. I promise it won’t matter.)

cream cheese and sugar

Spoon the rest of the jar of Nutella into the bowl, and process again until smooth and completely mixed together. (Can’t see those crumbs now, can you?)

nutella mix

Remove pie crust from fridge and carefully spoon the cheesecake mix over the base, smoothing the top. Place back into the refrigerator to set. This will take four to six hours, but it will be even better if you can leave it overnight.

smooth cheesecake into tinIn emergencies, the freezer will help chill things down quickly too. I understand – sometimes you need to make and eat that cheesecake FAST!

Carefully unmold the cheesecake from the springform tin, removing the sides first and then easing the cake from the bottom tray using a knife and a spatula or egg slide. Removing the cheesecake from the springform base stops you cutting through the non-stick coating with a knife when you slice pieces of cake and helps your pan last much longer.

nutella cheesecake 2

To Serve:

It’s perfectly good served plain. But I like to garnish my cheesecake with sweet fresh strawberries and a little dusting of icing sugar. It’s also super yummy with the following variations:

  • whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel
  • whipped cream and fresh berries
  • whipped cream and mandarin or orange segments
  • lashings of shaved or grated chocolate
  • tiny chocolate truffles and chocolate sauce

You might also like to make individual cheesecakes, or even put your mixture into teacups or cocktail glasses for something a little fancier.

However, in the end, what matters is the eating. Our visiting campers, Hannah and Mitchell, gave this dish their stamp of approval.

Enjoy!

happy faces

Exhausted, with Aprons…

94012710940847678f8Moqz90c

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” 
~ Albert Einstein

 

What a lovely weekend I’ve had. Our friends and their children visited the farm, and to my delight I found that these particular children had a great love of rambling walks in the countryside, board games, stories, an exceptional fondness for fairies and pirates, and a deep appreciation of yummy food, all of which are among my favourite things! :)

Ten-year-old Hannah was also very keen to strap on an apron and help in the kitchen, and so we practiced knife skills, invented crazy salads, decorated desserts with strawberries and made endless delicious treats, including Blueberry Crumble Slice, which was a huge success with her blueberry-addicted brother, Mitchell.

Blueberry Crumble SLice

Today, I’m going to catch up on all that energy I expended. The dogs are equally exhausted after all that fun so we’re going to stay snuggled up on this rain-sweetened frosty morning, drink tea, and write. Well, I’ll be writing, and the dogs shall be lending moral support, bless their furry paws!

Tomorrow, after I am caught up on sleep, I shall share a particularly delectable recipe for Nutella Cheesecake, which was the dessert we enjoyed on Saturday night. I promise it’s both easy and divine. :) Mmmmm, cheesecake…

Around the Campfire

CampFire (1)

“So, I looked up and we were in this giant dome like a glass snowball, and Mark said that the amazing white stars were only holes in the black glass of the dome, and when you went to heaven, the glass broke away, and there was nothing but a whole sheet of star white, which is brighter than anything but doesn’t hurt your eyes. It was vast and open and thinly quiet, and I felt so small.”  ~ Stephen Chbosky

 

We have friends from the city coming to stay this weekend. They are bringing their two young children with them, who are bursting with excitement at the idea of visiting a farm. They are also determined to camp out. Mum and Dad, meanwhile, will be snuggled up in the guest bedroom in our little cottage.

It’s freezing here right now, with deep frosts on the ground each morning. I fully expect to see two little bodies inside in front of the log fire when I wake up on Sunday. But isn’t half the fun of being a kid having the opportunity to try things and to live the adventure?

I’m really looking forward to having them here. We’ll take them to see the platypus and the koalas, we’ll visit the cows, and pick some oranges and mandarins (clementines) from the orchard.

platypus

Koalas vege garden

2014-03-04 16.30.51

And when night falls we’ll light some of the wood piles around the farm that need burning, eat a delicious dinner, talk to the owls, and watch the procession of stars across the sky.

2013-04-26 16.56.14

I might be late blogging tomorrow. There’s lots of fun to be had between now and then, and I may well end up sleeping in!

Lots of love to you, Nicole xx

Guided Meditation for Anchoring into the Expanding Universe

Image from ScienceNet

Image from ScienceNet

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.” 
~ Alan Wilson Watts

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
~ John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril

 

This last meditation in our series is designed to anchor us into the unfolding and ever-expanding energy of the Universe.

For this meditation you need:

1) A photograph of you as a small child or baby.

2) A photograph or even an object that belonged to one of your ancestors. Choose someone who is/was your grandparent, or even from the generations before that.

3) The crystal that we used in last week’s meditation, or one you have prepared for this meditation.

4) Something that you deeply desire to manifest in your life. Get clear about what that is. If you have time, journal about it to create as much detail as possible.

Image from Quotes In Space

Image from Quotes In Space

You’ll need to set aside twenty minutes for this meditation. Sit or lie somewhere quietly, using pillows or blankets if needed to make yourself comfortable. Then simply close your eyes and follow the sound of my voice. It’s fine to let yourself fall asleep during the meditation, or immediately afterwards.

To listen to the meditation, click on the button below:

 

This meditation will help you to connect into your own soul’s energy, the energy of your ancestors, and to use intention to manifest your own unfolding reality.

Holding your crystal after this meditation will continue to strongly connect you into universal energy and universal consciousness, and will also help you to travel along the timeline during subsequent meditations or in the dream state.

PS: If you’d like to review the other meditations we’ve covered so far, click here.

Getting Ready for Our Final Guided Meditation

“Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns, it calls me on and on across the universe.” 
~ John Lennon

 

A few weeks ago I started a series of seven weekly guided meditations, and tomorrow I shall bring you the final meditation for this series.

This last meditation is designed to anchor us into the unfolding energy of the Universe.

So, for you to make best use of tomorrow’s meditation, I need you to do a few simple things in preparation:

1) Find a photograph of you as a small child or baby.

2) Find a photograph or even an object that belonged to one of your ancestors. Choose someone who is/was your grandparent, or even from the generations before that.

3) Find the crystal that we used in last week’s meditation. If you did not join us for that meditation choose a stone or a crystal that feels good in your hands. Place it outside on the earth, rest it in the soil of a houseplant, or place it on a windowsill where it will get natural daylight and moonlight for at least six hours or overnight. Retrieve it tomorrow before we start the guided meditation.

4) Think of something that you deeply desire to manifest in your life. Get clear about what that is. If you have time, journal about it to create as much detail as possible.

 

That’s all you have to do. Enjoy your day, and I’ll see you tomorrow for a guided meditation that will help us to easily move into the universal energy of expansion, connection and manifestation. Much love to you, Nicole xx

Image from Michael Jeffreys

Image from Michael Jeffreys

Dog-gone it, we’re busy!

2014-07-15 20.30.37

“Sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to be near them.”  ~ Veronica Roth, Divergent

 

This will be a short blog post, owing to the fact that it’s cold, and all we really feel like doing this morning is going back to our nice warm bed for a cuddle. Sometimes, comfort takes priority, you know…

The picture above is of Harry Dog, all curled up on the couch next to my husband, Ben. Harry’s saying “Hurry up, Mum, and finish writing. It’s too cold and you’re taking too long!”

When I finished taking Harry’s picture I put my phone down beside him for a moment, and somehow managed to snap an accidental photo of Bert, our other dog, who was sitting by the door, pouting and wishing there was more room on the couch.

Some pictures speak louder than words. Poor Bert…

Okay, enough writing. Cuddle time!

Wishing you all a magical, love-filled day xoxoPouty Bert

Lyme and Making Plans

“She had learned the lesson of renunciation and was as familiar with the wreck of each day’s wishes as with the diurnal setting of the sun.” 
~ Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge

“Success is when everything that goes wrong, fits in your plan.” 
~ Gary Rudz

 

When I was diagnosed, finally, with Lyme disease, back in January 2013, we did a lot of shuffling of plans. A much-looked-forward-to holiday was called off. I cancelled workshops and retreats. My clever PA began adding a footnote to each appointment she made for me, letting people know that I was being treated for Lyme and that I may need to reschedule their session at short notice, depending upon my health on the day.

I’ve had to do a lot of that anyway, in my adult life. Cancel things. Say no. Pull out at the last minute. Always because of unreliable health. Too often that has made me the unreliable friend, family member, or neighbour. The only area I have managed to be mostly reliable has been work. But doing that has meant creating a business where I can work from home, part-time, and where everything else suffers so that I can get that work done.

Sure I’ve gone ahead sometimes and done the thing, but too often afterwards I’ve paid the price. An afternoon of socialising might mean three days of crippling exhaustion. A few hours of gardening could leave me flat out for the rest of the week.

“Gee Nicole,” a friend said once, frustrated at my lack of energy, “we all get tired.” Yes, we do. But Lyme tired is something else. Lyme tired is truly chronic fatigue. Lyme tired is neurological fatigue, as well as physical. It’s the kind of tired where after just a few hours work I am in bed by seven and asleep by ten past. And that’s on a good day. :) Lyme tired is the kind of tired where I can struggle with basic daily living – like showering and dressing, holding a conversation, preparing a meal or attending to the simplest kinds of housework. The kind of tired where my arm stops working, or my eye starts twitching, or my brain goes on strike.

My exhaustion is an ocean, under the influence of some great unseen force. Sometimes it recedes, leaving a gleaming bright shore of possibility. I get stretches where I can do so much more, and I settle in to that as my new normal. But then the tide comes back, and I find myself with a smaller and smaller window of available time where my brain works, or my body works and I can get things done.

To be honest, I’d hoped that this far into my Lyme treatment, an aggressive protocol of drugs and herbs, that I would have been back to much more glorious planning again by now. That I would be saying ‘yes’ more often, and ‘no’ much less.

But as I’ve travelled this road I’ve come to realise that there’s still so far to go. I might be in this hazy half-life place for a while yet.

So, I’ve gotten smarter.

Now I make plans EXPECTING to be tired. I create my business around what I can do on a bad day, or an average week, rather than what I might be able to do if I had a sudden upsurge in energy or was miraculously well again. I plan socialising around my best times (mornings), or for early nights.

I am planning my whole future around having a flat battery.

It’s not pessimistic. I fully intend to get back to well. Or as well as it is possible to be, for me. But oh how it takes the pressure off, knowing that I am catering for low energy, or sudden patches of incapacity.

Anyway, my heart is on the way to being completely normal, and I have my brain back. There is no longer an imminent threat of dying. I can write and think and dream again. And I’ve always been able to do psychic work – no matter how ill I’ve been. That’s a gift that comes through me, and it’s never influenced by my health. In fact, it has often been the thing which has energised me and kept me going during my darker days. So, planning is possible. As long as my plans make space for down-time, disaster and the unexpected.

I even changed my whole business model, so that I can run an ever-expanding enterprise from bed, on a few average health days a week. Imagine how much lovely free time that will give me as I move back towards well. Imagine how much writing I will be able to get done. How much living. That’s exciting for me!

Maybe you don’t have lyme, or some other kind of incapacitating situation in your life, but I can guarantee you that making plans based on reduced energy and reduced input isn’t a bad thing. Instead it’s a plan for life that makes room for life. It’s about designing a life where there is space for you to grow, to heal, to love, to change your mind, to move in new directions, to spend the afternoon napping, or with your lover, or catching a series of perfect waves.

I’m all for planning. Planning moves us purposefully in a direction of our choosing. It enables us to be effective with the use of our time and resources. It helps us to actively design our lives.

But I am also for living honestly, and being realistic about what’s on our plates. I am also for being kind to ourselves. I am all for making room to breathe rather than heaping responsibility, duty and endless tasks upon us.

What kind of plans have you made in your life?

Have you crammed so much in that there is no room for downtime, rest or fun?

Lyme has proved to be a wise teacher for me. I hope that by sharing my story, it also helps you to be kinder to yourself, to be more trusting of the process of life, to focus on your most important priorities and still leave space.

All sorts of miracles and wonderments can happen when we leave enough space for them. It’s not up to us to have to fill in all the blanks. Where would be the magic in that?

Much love to you, Nicole xx

Life-is-a-miracle