Winter Dinner Dates #1

Up until 4 years ago, we were always out & about. Eating out, making last minute plans - being spontaneous. We loved socialising & being out in town.
The mix of drinks, loud music & smokey dark places had its day and I loved it
But since Lula was born there's nothing I enjoy more than being at home with my family.
And since spending more time at home I've discovered that I married a culinary genius!
So now there's even less need to go out! Warren's dishes seriously rival anything that you get from a restaurant.
Even recently I went for a delish' ladies lunch @ Uitsig where the pasta had a particularly good reputation & whilst it was really tasty, coincidently, Warren had made a similar carbonara the previous night, and I have to say, I preferred his!
So I thought, why go out when the food's so good at home. And so that we're not being totally anti-social what could be better then sharing a yummy meal with friends in the comfort of our home.
And now that it's winter, it's the perfect timing for hearty food, great company & a roaring fire.
So I've decided to host a number of winter dinner dates over the next couple of months inviting different groups of friends.
Now anyone that knows me well will also know that I never cook, so when I announced my plans to Warren he felt that it wasn't such a  good deal for him to spend the next few saturday nights cooking for a crowd!!
So I've promised to do my bit - I'm in charge of starters, desserts & decor!

The Menu

* Turkish loaf & Olives

* Slow cooked Irish Stew with basil mash

* Nutella Cheesecake

Ok I know my starter for this 1st dinner date is a bit of a cop-out & doesn't require much effort, but the dessert will make up for it & it's so easy even I can do it!

Nutella Cheesecake

I used a combination of a Nigella recipe & this one here.
Here's how I made it.....


- 250g block of cream cheese
- Jar of Nutella
- Pack of digestives
- few Oreos
- 75g unsalted butter
- 30g icing sugar
- 250ml tub whipping cream
- Squirty cream

Start by crushing the bag of biscuits in a bowl. I used the whole 250g pack (minus 2 that I had with a cup of tea after work on Friday) + 5 Oreos. Melt the butter and add that along with 1 heaped tbsp of Nutella. Mix it all together really well until it's a moist sandy texture.

Then mix 2/3 cup of Nutella with the block of cream cheese (make sure it's at a warm room temperature or else it's impossible).
In a seperate bowl, whisk the cream until firm & fluffy, sieve in the icing sugar & whisk again to combine.
Fold the cream in to you nutella/creamcheese mix until you get an even chocolatey mousse.

You're almost done!

To serve the individual cheesecakes, I used old glass jam jars that we'd collected.

Divide the biscuit mix between them, crush it down to make a firm base & pop in the fridge to harden a bit.

Then add the soft moussey topping & they're ready for the finishing touches.

I finished  them off with a swirl of whipped cream & some crumbled Oreos (you could decorate with crushed hazelnuts, flaked almonds or chocolate swirls...)

And vioila.
Individual Nutella Cheese Cakes <3
Baking with no baking!
(and there's enough Nutella leftover for a few rounds of smooth chocolatey spread toast in the morning!)

I can highly recommend listening to this whilst making this dish - helps with the crushing, blending & whisking : )


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