that baker girl

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Posted on 29 Dec 2012

Filed under Baking, chocolate

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Salty & sweet, sinful chocolate & peanut cheesecake

For me, chocolate and peanuts is a match made in heaven. Suffice to say, f I could have just one dessert until the day I die, this chocolate-peanut cheesecake would be my number one choice.

The sweet creaminess of milk chocolate and slightly bitter undertones of dark chocolate, combined with the salty, crunchy peanuts hits all my taste buds orgasmically. The list of ingredients is pretty straight forward:

ingredients

Let’s start with the biscuit base. Preheat your oven at 170o C and gather your ingredients.

biscuit base ingredients

the cast of characters for the biscuit base

Place your butter and peanut butter in a saucepan on medium heat until just melted, or melt in the microwave (be careful cause it will pop and splatter the inside of your oven, so cover with cling wrap and poke a couple of holes to prevent that). In a food processor, toss the peanuts and pulse a few times until they’re chopped to small pieces (but not turned into powder).Next, blitz the oreos with the digestive biscuits in a food processor.

blitz the biscuits

a few pulses and you're done

Empty the biscuit crumbs into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and pour over the butter and peanut butter mixture.  Toss to combine, until it resembles dark, wet sand. Add the chopped peanuts and combine.

Now prep your pan: cut a piece of parchment paper and fold in the corners so they come up the sides of the pan when it’s lined. With a spatula, spread the mixture to cover the bottom of a pan and bake for 10-15’. 

pan prep

your biscuit base is now ready to bake

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

On to the caramel: sprinkle some of the sugar in a thick-bottomed pan and continue adding sugar, a little at a time, as the previous addition melts. Stir with a silicone spatula to make sure it’s even and it doesn’t burn. Don’t use a rubber spatula for this; it will melt into the sugar! Once all the sugar is dissolved and turned a dark amber color, remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Return to the heat briefly and dump in the peanuts. Give the mixture a stir and pour on top of the biscuit base.

caramel

And now, the chocolate filling. Chop the chocolate into small pieces, add half the cream and melt in a double boiler. Stir constantly to ensure the chocolate on the bottom of your bowl doesn’t burn, and be careful not to allow any steam from the pan to get in your bowl, or your chocolate might seize.

melted chocolate

What you’ll end up with is a lovely, glossy pool of melted chocolate.

pool of chocolate

Employ all your restraint and don't dive in!

Set the chocolate aside to cool, Preheat your oven at 150o C and put a kettle on to boil. Have a bigger pan ready for the bain marie.

Now let’s prepare the cream cheese filling.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese and beat briefly until is loosens up. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat for about 3’. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next one, stopping to scrape down the bowl occasionally.

cream cheese mixture

Next, with the mixer running at low speed, add the melted chocolate and cream and watch it swirl.

chocolate and cream

Add the vanilla and beat until it’s all combined.

Pour the mixture over the caramel-cookie base, place the cake tin in the big pan and them place it in the middle of your oven. Carefully pour the boiling water in the big pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake and bake for about 50-60′, until the edges are set but the center is still jiggly. 

baking

baking time will vary depending on the size of your pan; take no chances by jiggling it every once in a while

Once your cheesecake looks about half-done, turn off the oven. Leave it inside for about an hour, then take it out of the oven and leave it on a rack to cool, before transfering to the refrigerator. You’ll have to be patient, as it needs at least 6 hours in the fridge (overnight is best).

chocolate and peanut cheesecake - done!

And there you have it, your luscious chocolate, caramel & peanut cheesecake, done! This one was made as a gift so I’m afraid I didn’t get to cut a slice and photograph it, but trust me on this one: pictures don’t do this dessert justice. 

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