Guest chef

Debbie Major

Cook, writer and food stylist, Debbie's reputation for foolproof, delicious recipes is second to none. She is renowned for her dedication to seasonal home cooking and her love of all things rustic and authentic. Simplicity over cheffy is her motto!

Chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel sauce

  • Serves 8-10
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 10 mins, plus cooling
3.4/5 rating (50 votes)
Chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel sauce
Chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel sauce

step by step

  • 1Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3. Lightly butter and line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.
  • 2For the base, gently melt the butter and chocolate in a pan over a low heat or in the microwave. Add the crushed biscuits and mix together well, then spoon into the prepared tin and press on to the base in an even layer. Set aside. For the cheesecake topping, melt the chocolate and leave to cool. Put the eggs yolks and sugar into a large mixing bowl and whisk for about 5 minutes until thick and mousse-like. Set aside.
  • 3Mix the cocoa powder with the ground almonds. In another bowl, lightly whip the cream until it is just beginning to show signs of thickening. Put the mascarpone into a separate bowl and beat until smooth, then gently fold in the whipped cream. Fold this into the egg yolk mixture, followed by the cool melted chocolate, the cocoa and almond mixture and brandy.
  • 4Whisk the egg whites in a very clean bowl into slightly stiff peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture with a large metal spoon.
  • 5Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes until just set but still slightly wobbly in the centre.
  • 6For the salted caramel sauce, heat the sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small, deep, heavy-based pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Don't stir it, just swirl the pan every now and then, brushing any sugar crystals down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush, dipped in water. When the syrup is clear, bring it to the boil and boil it for 6-7 minutes until it has turned into a dark amber-coloured caramel. Remove from the heat. Stand back and add the cream – take care as it will bubble furiously and rise up the sides of the pan. Return the pan to a low heat and stir gently until all the caramel has dissolved. Stir in the salt and set to one side. It will thicken but don't worry.
  • 7Take the cheesecake out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Thin down the caramel sauce with 1 tablespoon cold water. Drizzle it over the cheesecake and decorate with chocolate curls (see below).
  • To make the chocolate curls, melt 100g dark chocolate, then spread out to an 18cm x 18cm square on a nonstick flat baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes. Using a dough cutter or the flat side of a wide-bladed knife and starting at the top, push the cutter into the chocolate and towards you to make it curl. Continue to make chocolate curls from the dark square, then repeat the process with 100g white chocolate, chilling the melted white chocolate for 30 minutes before curling. Chill all the curls to firm up.
  • Recipe Photograph by Dan Jones

Get ahead

Make the cheesecake up to 2 days ahead; chill. The salted caramel sauce can be made at the same time. The cheesecake can also be frozen, decorated or undecorated.

You will need

For the biscuit base:

  • 75g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 75g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 250g digestive biscuits, crushed into fine crumbs

For the cheesecake topping:

  • 50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 150ml double cream
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • chocolate curls, to decorate

For the salted caramel sauce:

  • 175g granulated sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

+ Nutritional Information