Cheesecake- the dessert that can divide a nation. “Should it be chilled or baked?” is a question that could have come from the lips of Hamlet himself. After watching the “Desserts” episode of The Great British Bake Off I was throughly enthussed to try baked cheesecake. To be honest there has always been something about baked cheesecake that never hit the spot for me. Maybe I just never had a good one – they’ve ranged from custard tart-like to downright chalky and as a result my allegience and affections have always belonged to it’s cooler, and in my opinion, more sublime counter part- the chilled cheesecake. And here’s the result with my signature ubiquitious twist. Rich and chocolatey with a hint of peanut this is a thoroughly grow-up dessert. Little and often is the way ahead…little and often!
Chilled Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Caramel Cheesecake
200g digestive biscuits
90g butter, cubed
110g caster sugar
150ml double cream
150g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
560g cream cheese
4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
200g Carnation tinned caramel
75g cocoa nibs
Chocolate curls, optional
– To make the base, blitz the biscuits in a food processor to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and 1 tablespoon of cocoa. Blitz again until it clumps together and then spread them into a 23cm springform tin. Press the biscuit crumbs into the bottom of the tin to make an even base and refrigerate while you carry on making the filling.
– Carefully melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water. When melted, remove and leave to cool slightly.
– Whip cream until soft peak stage. Add cooled melted chocolate, then the cocoa powder. Mix well and set aside.
– In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and sugar together for about 10 mins. Continue beating until there ae no sugar grains. Add in the peanut butter and mix until well combined.
– Fold in cream/chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.
– Spread half the cheese filling on top of crushed biscuit base.
– Dot tablespoon size blobs of the caramel over the cheesecake filling. Once all the caramel has been used, spread the remaining cheese mix over this so the caramel it is completely covered.
– Decorate the top of the cheesecake with the cocoa nibs and the chocolate curls, if using.
– Place in refrigerate for minimum 3 hours, or overnight.
– Slice, serve and enjoy!