Monday, January 14, 2013

Challenge 5 - Triple Choc Cheesecake with Salted Peanut Caramel

Month 5 - May (which turned into December)
Blog 5 - Good Taste

Well well well this I have to say was a long winded challenge.  One of my best friends came over one evening with the Good Taste Magazine and said "I bought this and was hoping I might request it for my birthday", it was the front cover Triple Chocolate Cheesecake.  I took one look and said why not, I'm up for a challenge and added it to my list.  Upon investigating it I realised this was gonna be a 3 day extravaganza of a making and refrigerating process so I needed to clear the calendar for this event.

Unfortunatelythe birthday dinner didn't take place as planned, and it moved to September and then even later in the year and to cut a long story short finally I did it for our big Boxing Day event.

I had seen an old friend on facebook made it during the year and she said it was indeed a sugar overload and definitely not recommended for breakfast! *Belly Laughes* We have spent months scrutinizing the photo and coming up with what the caramel consistency and texture should be like.... unfortunately I did happen to fail on this layer, it was too runny and you definitely need to leave it boiling in the saucepan for much longer than the recipe says (which I will adjust) so that you have thick set caramel.  To tell you the truth I think it would be best as a peanut brittle.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Salted Peanut Caramel

Melted Butter - to grease pan
400g Chocolate Biscuits - plain such as scallywags
150g Butter - melted
5g Butter - extra
260g Dark Chocolate - finely choppped
150g White Chocolate  - finely chopped
375g Cream Cheese - room temp
100g (1/2 cup) Castor Sugar
1 1/4 cups Thickened (Heavy) Cream
1 1/2 Tbsp Hot Water
3 tsp Gelatine Powder

Salted Peanut Caramel

1 1/2 cups Castor Sugar
3/4 cup Water
1 cup Double Cream
3/4 cup Salted Roasted Peanuts

Italian Meringue

1 1/2 cups Castor Sugar
1/4 cup water
4 Egg Whites - room temp
Pinch Creme of Tartar

Using a 22cm spring-form tin, indent the base and insert and clamp in a sheet of baking paper.Lining the pan with foil is optional but using your melted butter grease your pan well.

In a food processer place your chocolate biscuits and pulse until you have a fine crumb, then add in your 150g of melted butter. Press the biscuit mix into the prepared pan, press the mixture up the sides of the pan to the top, I recommend using a flat cottom glass to run around the inside to have a unified crust.  Then place pan into the fridge and chill for at least an hour.

Next we need to make the salted peanut caramel, place the sugar and water in a large saucepan over a low heat for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Boil, without stirring, brushing down the side of the pan occasionally with a wet pastry brush, for 18-20 minutes or until deep golden. Here I recommend doing this process for longer until you have a thick dark consistency so you result in a toffee, it is ideal to use a candy themomentor and get it to soft crack level. Remove from heat. Stir in the cream. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Stir in peanuts. Spoon over the biscuit base. Smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or until firm, I recommend overnight for this.

For the filling you need to place the remainder of your butter and 60g of the dark chocolate into a dish and microwave for 30 second intervals and stirring until melted through.  Then spread this over this over the caramel layer and place it back into the fridge.

Place the white chocolate into a glass heatproof bowl and stand in saucepan of simmering water, ensure your bowl doesn't touch the water or you will crack your glass.  Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted.  Set aside to cool for approximately 5 minutes.
In your food processor place your cream cheese, sugar and 185ml (3/4 cup) cream and process until combined well and smooth.  Add in the white chocolate and process well together.  Put your hot water into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle in the gelatine powder, and place the bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water (or a larger bowl over boiling water, I find a saucepan easier since you have used it already above).  Stir until the gelatine is disolved.  Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Then add to the cream cheese mixture and process it through.  Then pour this cream mixture over the dark chocolate cheesecake layer.  Glad wrap (cling wrap) and place it back into the fridge for minimum 4 hours.

For the ganache layer, place the remainder of your dark chocolate and your cream into a small saucepan, stir until smooth liquid.  Pour this over your cold cheesecake layer. Place back int he fridge to set for 1 hour.

To make your meringue, put your egg whites into a mixer and whisk on high until you have them form soft peaks, then add in your cremem of tartar.  Then also place your sugar and water into a medium saucepan, stir over a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, increase your heat and using a pastry brush and water continue to brush down the insides of your saucepan to avoid sugar crystals forming.  Cook without stirring for 3-5 minutes and using a candy themometor get the sugar syrup to 115 degrees (soft ball stage as stated on the themometor).  When your sugar syrup reaches 120 degrees (hard ball stage) then take from teh heat and pour the sugar syrup into the beating egg whites, ensure you pour the hot syrup into the very side of the bowl and not into the beater as you will get spun sugar.  Increase your speed to high and whisk for 15 minutes or until thick glossy and cool.

Spoon your meringue into a large piping bag with a 1cm nozzle, and start to pipe peaks on top of the set cold cheesecake. Cover the top of the chocolate ganache layer.  Then take your blow torch and caramelise the meringue peaks lightly.

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