“….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…
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.
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.
*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.
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.)
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?)
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.
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.
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.