Caramel Peanut Popcorn Cheesecake
SERVES 12 PREP 30 minutes + cooling + 45 minutes to stand
+ 6 hours to chill COOK 15 minutes COST $2 a serve
1 tablespoon vegetable
or peanut oil
¼ cup popping corn kernels
½ cup coarsely chopped peanuts ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
2/3 cup caster sugar, plus ½ cup extra 50g butter, chopped
2 tablespoon golden syrup 100g dark eating chocolate,
melted, plus 100g extra, melted 3 teaspoons gelatine powder 2 tablespoons boiling water 500g cream cheese,
at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup thickened cream
Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over moderately high heat. Add popping corn kernels. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook, covered, for 3 minutes or until all the kernels have popped. Remove from heat. Cool. Stir chopped peanuts and sea salt flakes through popcorn. Line a 20cm springform pan with baking paper.
Place the sugar, butter and golden syrup in a medium heavy-based saucepan; cook and stir over low heat for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture is a rich caramel colour. Remove from heat. Allow bubbles to subside. Stir caramel through popcorn until coated. Reserve ½ cup of popcorn mixture. Using a spoon, press the remaining popcorn mixture firmly over base of prepared pan; level surface. Set aside 30 minutes to set. Top with melted chocolate. Set aside for a further 15 minutes to set.
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatine over boiling water in a heatproof jug. Whisk until dissolved. Combine cream cheese, extra sugar and essence in a food processor; process until smooth. Add cream and gelatine mixture to cream cheese mixture; pulse to combine. Add the extra melted chocolate; pulse to combine.
Pour cream cheese mixture over chocolate in pan; level surface. Chill for 6 hours or until firm.
Serve topped with reserved caramel popcorn.