“Nutella Brownies” from “Simply Nigella”

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Kirstin: I”m not a big fan of baking. Cooking, sure. But I just don’t have the time to spend whisking eggs and butter to make cakes, and all the more so as I don’t have a particularly good track record with baking in general. So I was intrigued when I saw this recipe. It has just three ingredients; salt, nutella and eggs. How could that even possibly make a brownie? I had to give it a go. I whisked up the eggs to their full fluffiness and then started to feel this might be another disaster as I slowly added the nutella and watched them lose all their air. I have to admit at this point I was desperately thinking what I could serve as an alternative dessert, but stuck them in the oven nevertheless. And wow, was it worth it! They were divine and quickly disappeared!

I know that this recipe will be made over and over. It is perfect for those short of time, ideal for students who want something quick and yummy, perfect for those who come home from work and want something home baked and easy after dinner and most importantly will ensure that this book stays in heavy rotation on the shelf in the kitchen. Give them a go yourself! You will not be disappointed.

Genius, Nigella. You are a bloody genius!

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“Nutella Brownies” from “Simply Nigella”

“Italian Breakfast Banana Bread” and “Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake” from “Nigellissma”

If you’d like to make the cheesecake– and I recommend you do– click on this sentence to find the recipe.

If you’d like to make the banana bread, and it is an excellent use of brown bananas– click on this sentence to find the recipe.

First things first. You should know that since the beginning of the month, I’ve made both of these treats twice. That’s how good they are.

I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with banana bread. I find that the only way I can force myself to eat it is if there is chocolate and/or nuts in there somewhere. I keep on making it, though, because I hate to waste food and I know the black bananas in the fruit bowl that are mocking me can be used in a banana bread. So I persevered.

But now I think I’ve found the perfect banana bread recipe (with one alteration on my part). Nigella very cleverly has you add a few teaspoons of instant espresso to the mix. Not only does this mask the banana flavour, it also makes it more sophisticated version of this breakfast treat.

The one alteration on my part was to add 100 grams of chocolate chips to the mix. This addition works great with the espresso flavour and also manages to mask the banana flavour even more. Frankly, there’s nothing better than biting into an unexpected chip of chocolate, is there?

This cheesecake is a wonder. As this is the non-baked variety, all you need to engage in is a little forward planning in order to have a delicious dessert. Both times I made this I was short on time, so I slotted in assembly of the ingredients the day before I needed the cake, and BANG, I was done 10 minutes later. I’m sure Nigella would agree that this is not cooking, but assembly, and we were all the richer for it.

The cheesecake isn’t going to work for anyone who doesn’t like Nutella, chocolate or hazelnuts, since that’s pretty much the extent of the ingredients. It is also very rich. There’s probably about a million calories in every slice, so you should slice small ones.

Will I make these treats again? You bet. Anytime I have some black bananas mocking me, they will find a new lease on life in this banana bread. The cheesecake isn’t going to win any awards on the “Great British Bake Off”, but it’s good and people love it.

Win. Win.

“Italian Breakfast Banana Bread” and “Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake” from “Nigellissma”