Last week I went out to dinner with mine and my boyfriend's immediate family to celebrate the completion of my Masters degree. We went to one of my favourite local restaurants, Azurea's and had a lovely time together. While Azurea's have a gorgeous selection of cakes and desserts themselves, I wasn't about to let go of an excuse to bake! Between mine and his family, everyone's preference for cake is many and varied, so choosing one is always a difficult task — someone is always not going to be happy! I eventually settled on this cake I had been wanting to try for quite a while now.
This cake looks reasonably unassuming from the outside. My favourite type of cake: the kind where the main feature is hidden from view.
One thing I knew this cake just had to have was strawberries. Whilst grocery shopping the week prior I grabbed a punnet of strawberries, as I do. We were shopping at a supermarket some half an hour from where I live, one we had never been to before. The entire complex was half built and the shops were really new. The supermarket had that lovely "we've just finished building this and really care about everything being perfection" thing going on. The fruit and vegetables looked much fresher than I'm accustomed to seeing at home. I always shop at the fruit and veg shops for fresh produce instead, but this place compelled me to grab everything from the one place.
But these strawberries. Let's talk about these strawberries. They were the most enormous strawberries I have ever seen. In a 250g punnet there were 6 of them. They were too amazing to just eat. I had to put them on some kind of dessert. And so I saved them for this cake. They're so huge they make the cake look a lot smaller than it is.
If there's one thing I love more than strawberries, it's strawberries and chocolate. Admittedly, I prefer them with melted chocolate, but I can settle for the chocolate being set. I dipped them in white chocolate and piped a little dark chocolate over them.
By the time I'd squeezed the strawberries on, there was little room left for the Swiss meringue. But I managed to squeeze on a few dollops. Then ensued the acrobatics as I used a blow torch to lightly caramelise the meringue whilst not melting the chocolate on the strawberries.
The outside of the cheesecake is made from chocolate ripple biscuits. They are my absolute favourite biscuits to use in a dessert. The flavour is so distinct and unlike any other chocolate biscuit. They always make for a delicious cheesecake base. The cake is topped with chocolate ganache, which I allowed to drip over the sides a little.
But the best part is when you get to cut it open.
The bottom layer is a layer of salted peanut caramel. There's a thin layer of dark chocolate between that and a layer of white chocolate cheesecake.
Are you convinced you need to try this yet? Yes? Well, what are we waiting for! Let's discuss how we can make this chocolate beast…
Salted Peanut Caramel and White Chocolate Cheesecake
400g chocolate ripple biscuits
150g unsalted butter, melted
5g butter, extra
260g dark chocolate, chopped
150g white chocolate, chopped
375g cream cheese, at room temperature
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
185ml (3/4 cup) thickened cream
1 tbsp gelatine powder
2 tbsp tepid water
Salted peanut caramel
315g (11/2 cups) caster sugar
185ml (3/4 cup) water
250ml (1 cup) double cream
120g (3/4 cup) salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.