Imagine, if you will, a cheesecake. A baked vanilla and chocolate cheesecake, doused in chocolate and salted caramel sauce, with peanuts in the base and sprinkled on top. If that sounds good to you, then you'd better make this recipe, because that's exactly what it'll get you.
This might seem like quite a complicated affair, but while there are several stages to it, none of these need massive amounts of skill, although you will need a food processor and a few pans. Oh, and quite a lot of sugar.
Make this cheesecake a day or even two days in advance of when you want to eat it; I find it sometimes tastes even better on the second day.
Vegan Baked Chocolate, Peanut, and Caramel Cheesecake
Makes: one 8-inch cheesecake
Preparation time: c. 10 hours 15 minutes (includes 8 hours of cooling time)
For the base...
240g vegan digestive biscuits
160g vegan butter
65g roasted and salted peanuts
For the filling...
300g firm silken tofu
500g vegan cream cheese
1 vanilla pod
90g caster sugar
100ml nondairy milk
50g vegan dark chocolate
40g cocoa powder
For the caramel sauce...
100g caster sugar
125ml coconut cream
25g vegan butter
1 tsp arrowroot flour
A pinch of ground sea salt
For the chocolate sauce...
60g caster sugar
150ml nondairy milk
30g cocoa powder
45g vegan butter
80g dark chocolate
100g roasted and salted peanuts, roughly crushed
1./ Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2./ Start out by making the cheesecake base. Do this by whizzing up the peanuts and the digestive biscuits to a fine crumb in a food processor. Melt the butter (160g) in a small saucepan, then add to this the processed biscuits and peanuts. Mix well, then press the resulting mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch springform tin.
3./ Next make the filling. Add to the food processor (in a clean bowl) the silken tofu, vegan cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and soy milk. Process until completely smooth. Pour out half of this mixture and set aside. Carefully melt the chocolate and add this to the remaining mixture, along with the cocoa powder, and process this until smooth. Layer the two fillings on top of the biscuit base in the springform tin, and smooth the top.
4./ Bake in the oven for 60 minutes. Try not to open the door before this, but keep an eye on the cheesecake through the door. It should be firm but with a little bit of squidge by 60 minutes (but if it looks a bit on the wobbly side still, pop it back into the oven till it's a bit firmer).
5./ Let the cheesecake cool, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
6./ For the chocolate sauce, place all the ingredients into a pan and heat over a medium heat, stirring constantly as you do, till fully melted and smooth. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
7./ For the caramel sauce, start out by caramelising the sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Once the sugar is melted and golden-brown, carefully add in the coconut cream, a tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly as you do. Once the coconut cream is fully incorporated, whisk in the salt, the vegan butter, and the arrowroot flour. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
8./ To serve, take the cheesecake out of the pan, drizzle with the chocolate and caramel sauces, and sprinkle generously with crushed peanuts.