Ultimate Cheesecake: Triple Choc with Salted Peanut Caramel

This really isn’t as hard to make as it looks.

I made this cheesecake for a dinner that we had with our neighbours last night, (hence my slightly later posting than normal). To ensure that my Saturday was as stress-free as possible, I actually started making this on Thursday which enabled me to leave each layer to set. Although I started a few days in advance, it really didn’t require much of my time or a great deal of effort. The hardest bit is making sure that you don’t burn the caramel, (which I must admit I did on the first attempt so had to make it again! 🙂 ).

I adapted the recipe from one that I found in the April 2012 issue of Australian Good Taste magazine. You can find the original recipe here, and here is an attempt that some of their staff had at making it. The main change that I have made to the original is the meringue topping – the one in the magazine used italian meringue which was then blow-torched whilst it was on top of the cake. That is way to fiddly for me, so I just made the meringue kisses separately and then put them on top of the finished cake. Much easier!

If you are allergic to nuts then just leave them out. You could perhaps replace them with small chunks of cookie so you still get the crunch in the caramel layer.

This cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge – if you can stop yourself from eating it.

Please don’t be scared of the length of the ingredients list or the method below!

Ingredients – serves 12 at least:

Base:

  • 400g/14 oz chocolate cookies (I used triple choc chip cookies)
  • 150g/5 oz unsalted butter, melted

Salted Peanut Caramel:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup thickened (heavy) cream
  • 3/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Dark chocolate layers:

  • 5g/0.25 oz unsalted butter
  • 260g/9 oz dark cooking chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cup thickened (heavy) cream

White chocolate cheesecake layer:

  • 150g/5 oz white cooking chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3 teaspoons powdered edible gelatine
  • 375g/13 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (I used 1 and 1/2 blocks Philadelphia)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup thickened (heavy) cream

Meringue kisses:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Method:

  • Spray a 23cm/9 inch spring-form pan (it has to be quite deep) with cooking spray.
  • Blitz the cookies in a food processor until they are fine crumbs, then put into a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then spread the mixture across the base and sides of your prepared pan, pressing with the back of a spoon to form the crust. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes whilst you make the caramel.
  • To make the caramel layer, put the sugar and water in a large saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved – do not stir from this point – turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Boil for 16-18 minutes without stirring (but you can shake the pan a little) until the sugar just starts to turn golden. (Tip: watch this very closely as it will burn in a second and then it will be no good) 
  • Once you have got to this golden point, remove from the heat immediately and VERY CAREFULLY stir in the cream. The mixture will bubble up and even spit slightly, so hold your spoon right at the very end when you are stirring. The bubbles will subside once all the cream is stirred in (as it will bring the temperature of the sugar down).
  • Then put the pan back on medium heat and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes, then stir in the peanuts. You now have your salted peanut caramel – pour this into your spring-form pan over the crust and level the surface. Cover the pan with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
  • For the first dark chocolate layer, place the 5g of butter and 60g/2 oz of the dark chocolate in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Spread this over your caramel layer – you will have to work quickly because the chocolate will begin to set as soon as it touches the cold caramel. Return to the fridge until you are ready to make the next layer.
  • For the white chocolate cheesecake layer, firstly melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth then remove from the heat. Next, put the hot water into a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine powder, then stir until dissovled. Finally, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, then beat in the cream followed by the melted white chocolate and then the gelatine mixture. Once smooth, spoon into your spring-form pan and level the surface. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
  • Now make the final dark chocolate layer. To do this, put the remaining dark chocolate and the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the chocolate is melted. Pour over the cheesecake and smooth the surface. Refrigerate until set (about an hour).
  • Meanwhile, make the meringue kisses. Put the egg whites into the bowl of your electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. Then gradually add the sugar and whisk for a few minutes until the mixture is glossy and the sugar is dissolved (the meringue should not feel grainy). Put into a piping bag with a small plain nozzle. Heat your oven to 100C/80C fan forced/210F. Put some baking paper on a baking tray and spray with a little cooking spray. Now pipe lots of small meringue kisses until you use up all of the meringue mixture. Bake for 45 minutes until dried out. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Just before you want to serve the cheesecake, remove it from the pan. To do this, run a very sharp knife around the sides before dis-engaging the spring. Place the cheesecake on your serving plate and then top with your meringue kisses.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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16 Responses to Ultimate Cheesecake: Triple Choc with Salted Peanut Caramel

  1. Oh my lord, that looks wonderful! A little deadly if I’m being honest 😀

  2. Shirley says:

    This was so yumeeeeee …..well done as usual xx

  3. Geraldine says:

    Oh my goodness– this looks sooooo delicious!!!

  4. AGT says:

    We love your post about our April cover recipe! I can’t see a contact email for you, and was wondering if you could get in touch with us at Good Taste magazine (nothing sinister, we’d just like permission to link to this post).

  5. Asri says:

    I am making it right now for my boyfriend’s birthday cake. 🙂 I wish it will look and taste as good as yours ;-). I got this recipe from am email from Taste.com.au, but never try it before. Thanks for the idea of making the meringue.

  6. Pingback: 21 Recipes For The Faithful Chocolate Lover | UnMotivating

  7. Pingback: Blast from the Past: Valentine’s Day Favourites | Recipe Adaptors

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