A very bad dessert, almost an overload of naughtiness, if there is such a thing. We have included cocoa nibs, which are roasted cacao beans; they are quite bitter, yet have a deep chocolate flavour that helps to give the base an intriguing taste. As there is no baking involved and we do not use gelatine, this cheesecake relies on the chilling process to set it. You will probably have too much toffee sauce, but I’m sure you will find something to do with any leftovers. You can also make a dairy-free version of this cheesecake using vegan cream cheese, but make sure you buy a good-quality version, as some of them can turn quite slack when mixed.
50g unsalted butter, melted (or dairy-free margarine), plus more for the tin
100g digestive biscuits (if making a dairy-free version, check the label)
20g cocoa nibs, plus more to serve (optional)
250g full-fat cream cheese, or good-quality vegan cream cheese (low-fat versions won’t work)
80g whipping cream (or soy cream for the dairy-free)
30g icing sugar
300g crunchy peanut butter
1 quantity Salted butterscotch (see here), or vegan toffee sauce
Butter a 20cm diameter loose-bottomed tin, then line it with baking parchment.
Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and hit them with something heavy such as a rolling pin or a pan. Place the crumbs in a bowl with the melted butter and cocoa nibs, mix, then press into the tin, making sure all the edges are straight. Place in the fridge so it can set while you make the filling.
Put the cream cheese, cream and icing sugar in a food mixer and beat for a minute to combine, or use a spoon and a bowl. When completely combined, carefully fold in the peanut butter but do not mix it in thoroughly; you want to create a rippled effect.
Spoon the mix on to the base and, using a metal spoon (a wooden one tends to drag the cheese), flatten and smooth so it is flat and even. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up; this should be sufficient, but fridge temperatures do differ.
After 2 hours in the fridge, push a sharp knife into the middle – if it feels like a cheesecake it is set; if not, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes, but don’t forget about it.
To serve, carefully remove from the tin, slice into wedges, and serve with Salted butterscotch. Or spread a spoonful of butterscotch on a plate, sprinkle with a few cocoa nibs and add a cheesecake wedge on top. Very pretty.