What makes a good recipe? What makes a recipe into something that jumps out at you and begs to be made and to be eaten? I used to think that it was just a case of good food styling and photography, but that flies in the face of all the food writing that I just cannot resist. Sometimes all it takes is a sentence about the quiet scent of a cinnamon bun wafting through the house, and I am knocking over tables in my haste to get into the kitchen, so I am back at the question of; what makes a recipe enticing? I can only speak for myself, because there are some foods that I am really not that into (shellfish, offal) and some foods which you only have to mention (chocolate, truffles, …chocolate truffles) and I’m on board. If it’s a pimped out grilled cheese sandwich, I’m in. If it’s a vegetable stack, I’m making a joke about how the early nineties wants its vegetarian menu back. But there are a few things which will always catch my eye (stomach?) and make me much more likely to get in the kitchen. Why am I bringing this up? Because this recipe ticked all of my boxes, even though on paper, it really shouldn’t appeal to me. First of all, and this may come as a surprise, but ease of execution. I know better than most the fear of the dish mountain, because readers (prepare yourselves) I do not have a dishwasher. [GAAASP] I know. I hear your audible gasp. But it is true that every dish created here at The Sugar Hit is washed up with these two hands, or the hands of my long-suffering boyfriend. So yeah, easiness is a big drawcard. And yes, I hear how that sounds *WINK*.
Another big drawcard for me is an unusual or innovative twist. I am ALL for the classics, I absolutely love them, but there are innumerable recipes for the perfect New York Cheesecake, and frankly I wouldn’t trust anyone but Deb from Smitten Kitchen for that. What I love about this one, is that I have actually never seen a Nutella Cheesecake recipe before, and yet I wonder, why the hell not? In hindsight it seems so obvious. And it tastes like an old friend. If it’s something I’ve never seen before, and yet seems totally natural, it’s almost guaranteed that I’ll make it. That’s the kind of recipe I try to create. The final thing that drew me in, and always draws me in, is crow-pleasing factor. Ask anyone who cooks, and I’m sure that most of them would say that they love to see people enjoying the food they make. That’s a huge drawcard for me! I’m not saying I don’t love to sit at home eating the funkiest blue cheeses and other things that send people running for the hills, but it doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as a total crowd pleaser. So when I read this recipe for Nutella Cheesecake, needless to say, I didn’t let the grass grow under my feet. It got me straight to the kitchen!
So tell me, what makes a recipe irresistible to you? Is there an ingredient you can’t resist? Is it nostalgia? Or is it just that je ne sais quoi? I’m fascinated to know!
Nutella Cheesecake – A Recipe
This one is (surprise surprise!) a Nigella Recipe, and I certainly don’t presume to do a better job than her! So the link to the original recipe is here: Nigella’s Nutella Cheesecake. I did a few things differently, which I will outline below:
- I left out the hazelnuts, to no ill affects at all
- I substituted 125g (a quarter) of the cream cheese with sour cream, which gave the filling a beautiful sharp creaminess
- I used a 22cm loose based tart tin, and pressed the biscuits up the side to form a crust
- I dusted the top with cocoa, which added a lovely bitterness and helped to cut the sweetness of the cheesecake
- I added a slosh of frangelico, because I happened to have some – and it was awesome.