Chocolate is a serious thing.
Deanna Troi (Star Trek:The Next Generation)
Those who know me well are aware that since December last year I have been on a medically supervised diet to improve my health and lose weight. Nothing, but nothing in this recipe is on the plan! But, dear readers, an intervention is not required. I was simply wanting to make a delicious dessert for my lovely family, and I can assure you that aside from licking the bowl I will not be eating any of this scrumptious, chocolately, gooey, nutty, creamy cheesecake tonight. But to all of you out there who are keen for some chocolate goodness – knock yourselves out. It is such a simple recipe, but I can’t claim it as my own. It’s a Nigella Lawson specialty, which I have adapted very slightly; however, I modestly take most of the credit for its creation whenever I make it. A small slice goes a long way, and it’s great to have with a really good espresso to counter the sweetness. I will think of you all as I eat my serve of fresh fruit for dessert!
Serves 8 – 10
250 grams chocolate digestive biscuits (I use McVitties)
75 g soft butter
1 x 400 g jar Nutella
500 g cream cheese
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
40 grams icing sugar
100 grams toasted hazelnuts, with skins removed, and chopped pinto small pieces
Place the digestive biscuits into the bowl of a food processor, add the butter and process until it starts to clump, and look a little bit like damp sand. Spoon into a 22cm round springform tin and press into the base using your fingers or the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge while you make the filling. Beat the cream cheese, vanilla seeds and icing sugar in a medium sized bowl until smooth and then add the Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined. It is best to have the Nutella and the cream cheese at room temperature to get them to mix beautifully. Smooth the Nutella mixture over the base and scatter the chopped hazelnuts on top to cover. Chill for at least four hours or overnight. The cheesecake is best served straight from the fridge, rather than at room temperature.