Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Or, The Never-Ending Love Affair

I said I'd have new recipes by the end of the week, didn't I? Of course, it's now the beginning of the week, and this is only one recipe, but it's a cheesecake. Cheesecake doth cover a multitude of sins. It also doth cover a multitude of broken New Year's resolutions, so have at it!

I am sorry for not keeping my word. John Wayne was hit by a car a few days ago, and I plumb forgot about buildabelly. He's alive in our basement as I type, and, hopefully, he now associates cars with excruciating pain and a cast (and not with a comfy basement pad that replaces his outdoor doghouse).


I made this a while back when a visit from some friends provided the excuse. I hadn't made a cheesecake in a couple of years, so it was due time. She and I both appreciate cheesecake appropriately, but I don't think the boys cared much, either way. (Weirdos.)

Without further ado, may I present Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake? I'll do my best to give you the actual amounts I used. I wasn't kidding, Molly, when I said I can't read some of these scraps of paper! I jotted down what I used as I made it, but my memory's a bit garbled, and this sorry scrap of paper isn't clearing much up. Don't worry. Cheesecakes are foolproof!

For the crust:
3 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
1/3 cup butter, melted
Combine in a bowl, then press across the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes and then cool completely.

For the filling:
-four 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened (I know it's anathema in some circles to use neufchatel, but I nearly always do. The texture isn't quite as firm, but my arrhythmically beating heart hopefully isn't as clogged, either.)
-1 cup granulated white sugar + 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 5 eggs
-2 tsp. vanilla
-3/4 cup peanut butter
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Mix the cream cheese and sugars until smooth; add eggs one at a time and beat just 'til combined. Add vanilla and beat just 'til combined. Divide the batter, placing roughly 2/3 in a separate bowl and keeping 1/3 in the mixing bowl. Add peanut butter, heavy cream, and cocoa powder to the remaining one third and beat just 'til combined. Pour the chocolate-peanut butter mixture onto the chocolate crust and smooth it until level. Spoon the vanilla layer over the peanut butter mixture, taking care to cover it without using much smoothing "pressure" so that the layers don't mix into one another (if that makes sense, great; if not, then just dump it on). Bake it a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until the sides begin to pull away from the pan and the center is nearly set. (Sides will be puffed and set, and center will move slightly when shaken.) Cool in a cracked-open oven for ten minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust. Cool for one more hour, top with ganache, and then refrigerate overnight to let the flavors ripen.

For the ganache topping:
-some semisweet chocolate chips
-some heavy cream
-some vanilla
*I just added chocolate until it appeared the consistency I wanted, but it was probably roughly one part cream to two parts chocolate-- 1/2 cup cream and 1 cup chocolate chips is a good start, or 1 cup cream to 2 cups chocolate chips, because having extra to lick from the spoon is never a bad thing.

Heat some heavy cream in a small saucepan until boiling. Pour it over some semisweet chocolate chips that you've had the forethought to place in a heatproof bowl. Let sit until melty (yes, that's a valid word). Stir until smooth and combined, add a smidge of vanilla extract, and then pour over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate cheesecake overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Then, eat it for breakfast the next morning. (You! Not ME, for Pete's sake.)


Lisa said...

Oh my gosh, this has so many layers of goodness in it that it just can't be anything but divine, decadent, and delicious. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cheesecake up.

Molly said...

Oh-my-goodness! What an amazing picture of pure, delicious calories! I definitely will give this a try. And don't worry, you'll have your own cookbook soon;-)