Friends, I promised you a long time ago that I’d share with you how to make what is (for reals) quite possibly the greatest cheesecake – nay, dessert – I have ever created.
I wouldn’t lie to you, would I? Nope.
And let’s not forget, healthy choices aren’t just about organic rabbit food.
Balance. Right? Right.
So let’s talk about Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, then. I feel like fanfare should blare whenever those words are typed together.
Picture it: August 2012. A certain blogger was about to approach a certain birthday and knew that not just any traditional birthday cake would do. Although Chocolate Truffle Cake is perfection and should never be kicked out of anyone’s party, ever.
Still, it was time for a change. So I (yeah yeah, we were talking about me, surprise!) found something at Tammy’s Recipes, thanks to Pinterest (which by the way I refuse to visit right now since I always become way too obsessed and wind up telling Rob that he has approximately 57 new things to do around the house and then I wonder why a recipe for crock pot chicken has, in fact, never “changed my life”. Is there something wrong with me?).
I fell in love with this beautiful cheesecake. However, I felt like it needed a bit of a shake-up.
I dig white chocolate. I dig chocolate in general. Still…I wanted something a little jazzier.
Then the heavens opened and the angels sang and a voice whispered two sweet words in my ear: Peanut butter
I have to tell you, I took a total stab at it and added a cup of peanut butter instead of the white chocolate as instructed and it worked tremendously well for my tastes and, as evidenced by the approval I received and the rate at which the cake disappeared, the tastes of everyone else who ate it.
Still, you may want to add more if you want a more intense peanut butter flavor. I can’t speak to how that would affect the texture of the cream cheese, though, so be warned.
Once the cake was baked and cooled, it was time to make the chocolate glaze.
Look.at.that. Just look at it. Take a minute and soak it in.
And in case you were wondering: Yes. It tastes as good as it looks.
In fact the general consensus was “It takes just like a peanut butter cup”. What else do you need to know?
Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary or a Wednesday night, you need to make this cheesecake NOW. And feel free to invite me over to help you, um, get rid of it.
It’s the least I can do.
Adapted from Tammy’s Recipes
1 cup chocolate graham crackers, finely crushed
2 tbs white sugar
4 tbs butter, melted
32 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tbs butter, softened
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tbs light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lining the bottom and outside with two layers of heavy-duty foil. Lightly grease the inside of the pan.
Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar and press onto bottom of the pan to form the crust. Place the pan in the fridge to firm up the crust while you prepare the cream cheese layers.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cream, butter and sugar on medium-low speed. It’s very important to make sure the cream cheese is thoroughly softened prior to doing this, or else you’ll end up with a lumpy cheesecake. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl from time to time.
Once cream cheese mixture is smooth, add the vanilla and combine. Then add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition until thoroughly combined and smooth.
At this point, put a kettle or pot of water on to heat up (it doesn’t have to boil, just make sure it’s hot).
Pour about half of the cream cheese mixture into a second large bowl. Into one bowl, add the melted chocolate and stir until combined. Into the second, add the peanut butter and stir until combined (a mixer is better for this job).
Remove the springform pan from the refrigerator. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the crust and smooth out the top. Then gently dollop – don’t pour! – the peanut butter half on top. Gently spread out the dolloped mixture until you have a smooth finish.
Place the springform pan inside a large roasting pan or Pyrex and place the pan inside your preheated oven. Add the hot water from the kettle to the outside pan until it’s about an inch up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60-80 minutes until the top looks dry and the edges are puffed. Don’t worry – it’ll still wiggle a little in the center when moved. Turn off the oven and, using a wooden spoon or other safe utensil, prop open the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour to cool.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before covering and placing in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, combine the glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool a bit in order to thicken up.
Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator take off the foil. Place the pan on a rack to catch drips or, if you’re like me, put it right on the serving dish. Run a knife gently around the inside of the pan to loose the cake, then remove the sides of the pan.
Slowly pour the cooled glaze over the top of the cake. You may want pour half at a time to prevent it from running off and allow for a thicker coating.
Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator, or slice and freeze.
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