Chocolate, caramel and candied peanuts make a saucy combination in this dessert special.

Ingredients:

Serves 12

Cake

  • 225g butter, cut into pieces
    340g bittersweet or semi-sweet dark
    chocolate, chopped
    6 large eggs, at room temperature
    200g sugar

Candied salted peanuts

  • 300g raw peanuts
    200g sugar
    75ml water
    Sprinkle of coarse sea salt
    Ground cinnamon, optional

Salted butter caramel sauce

  • 85g butter, salted or unsalted
    150g sugar
    250ml double cream
    ½ tspn vanilla extract
    1¼ tspns sea salt flakes

Method:

Preheat oven to 170°C. Butter a 23cm spring form cake pan. Take one or two large sheets of foil and wrap the outside of the pan completely with foil, making sure it’s absolutely watertight. Set the pan inside a large roasting pan, which you’ll use to bake the cake in a water bath.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar then whisk in the melted chocolate
mixture until completely incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and cover the cake pan tightly with foil. Pour very warm water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake
appears to have set. It’s done when you gently touch the centre and your finger comes away clean, but still feels soft in the middle.

Remove the cake from the water bath and cool completely before slicing. Cake can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

To make the candied salted peanuts:

Mix the peanuts with the sugar and water in a wide, heavy-duty skillet. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid seizes up a bit. Lower the heat and keep going, scraping up any syrup collecting in the bottom of the pan and stir the peanuts in it, coating them as much as possible.

As you go, tilt the pan, removing it from the heat from time-to-time to regulate the heat and the syrup, so you can coat the nuts with the liquid as it darkens without burning the peanuts or the syrup. Right before they’re done, sprinkle the peanuts with a sizeable pinch of flaky salt and the cinnamon, if desired.

Stir them a couple of times then tilt the peanuts out onto a sheet of baking paper or a marble countertop and let cool completely.

To make the salted butter caramel sauce:

Melt butter in a large, heavy-duty saucepan. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is a deep-golden brown and starts to smoke. Remove from heat and
immediately whisk in half the cream until smooth (wear an oven mitt, since the mixture will steam, splatter and may bubble up furiously). Once smooth, stir in the rest of the cream, then the vanilla and salt. If there are any lumps of caramel, whisk the sauce gently over low heat until they’re dissolved.

To serve:

Cut into wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, a tablespoon of the candied nuts and a dob of the salted caramel.

Chef ’s tip:

Raw peanuts are usually available at Asian markets. You can substitute raw unskinned almonds.