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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake (Daring Bakers)

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The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Holy freaking amazing cheesecake, Batman!  I’ve posted a few time in the past that I’m not a big cheesecake person.  It started to change when I made the Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake, and realized that I do like fancier cheesecakes, especially ones with chocolate.  My problem with cheesecake is when it has an overly pronounced cream cheese flavor, but if there are other elements in the cheesecake to cut the dominating flavor of the cream cheese, I am much more likely to enjoy it.  I decided to take the same approach with this cheesecake.

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I had already been working on a similar cheesecake in my head, so I was glad it was chosen for Daring Bakers this month because it gave me the push I needed to try it out.  I have proclaimed my love for the chocolate-peanut butter combination several times on this blog, and it was only fitting to use that combination for this challenge.  I strayed from the recipe a bit, but it resulted in the best cheesecake I have ever had, and probably the most well-received dessert I have made.

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I made Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies and processed them into crumbs to use for the crust, and added 1 cup of peanut butter and 3 ounces of melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate  to the batter.  I overbaked the cookies to make sure they were crunchy enough for the crust.  I also added some homemade peanut butter patties that I made for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream.  After baking, I topped it with a chocolate ganache and chopped Reese’s Cups.  The chocolate and peanut butter flavors were perfectly balanced, and it was the creamiest cheesecake I’ve ever had.  I used a springform pan and baked it in a water bath.  I wrapped the pan with aluminum foil tightly and didn’t have any problems with water getting in.  The ganache, peanut butter patties, and Reese’s Cups just added to the decadent goodness :)  It was gobbled up very quickly.  I will definitely make this cheesecake again and again!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Erin’s Note: I had a little bit of batter left over.  I didn’t want to add so much that it was overflowing over the crust, so you can either slightly increase the crust to make it go higher up the sides, slightly reduce the recipe, make mini cheesecakes, or do as I did and just eat the leftover batter with a spoon :)

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Crust:

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, processed to crumbs (recipe follows)

2 ounces melted butter

Process cookies in a food processor, then mix with melted butter.  Bake as directed with cheesecake recipe below.

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (adapted from Baking Bites)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and water until smooth.
In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients, including cocoa powder and water mixture. Add chocolate chips at the end of mixing.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly with a moistened finger.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F, until golden brown and crispy.
Cool on pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen.

Cheesecake:

3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Patties, recipe follows
Chocolate Ganache, recipe follows
Garnish: chopped Reese’s Cups

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients into a 9-inch springform pan. Press crust into the bottom and up the sides of pan.  Freeze the crust for at least 10 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Allow crust to cool completely before adding cheesecake filling.

3. Combine cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and melted chocolate in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy.  Fold in peanut butter patties.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, spread ganache over entire cheesecake (do not take it out of the springform pan).  Top with chopped Reese’s Cups.  Put the cheesecake back in the refrigerator and chill until ganache is set.

Peanut Butter Patties: (adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

¾ cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

4-6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Mix together the peanut butter and sugar in a small bowl.  Line a dinner plate with plastic wrap.  Pinch off small pieces of the peanut butter mixture, about ½ teaspoon each, and drop them onto the dinner plate.  Once you’ve used all of the mixture, freeze the patties.

Mixing them in: Fold the Peanut Butter Patties into 1 quart of ice cream as you remove it from the machine.

Chocolate Ganache (adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces, at room temperature

Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

Bring the cream to a boil, then pour half the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds.  Working with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at the center of the bowl and working your way out in increasingly larger concentric circles.  Pour in the remainder of the cream and blend it into the chocolate, using the same circular motions.  When the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter piece by piece.  Don’t stir the ganache any more than you must to blend the ingredients- the less you work it, the darker, smoother, and shinier it will be.

Pour ganache over chilled cheesecake, and refrigerate until set.

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43 Responses

  1. GORGEOUS!!

    Would you mind emailing me??

  2. oh, genius!!!!

  3. Holy smokes. That looks fun. I’m glad your creativity worked so perfectly!

  4. Peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite combo. Yours looks delcious!!

  5. Oh my gosh!! This looks AMAZING!!!

  6. Wow. This looks completely decadent!

  7. Yum.. just yum! This looks ridiculously amazing!!

  8. This looks amazing! Hope you and David are doing well!

  9. That is one good looking cheesecake! Nice job!

  10. I truly contemplated something with PB. You managed to do it justice. Yum!

  11. Oh that’s just unfair. And stunning. And stunningly delicious looking.

  12. Your cheesecake looks fabulous! I love the way you combined a bunch of recipes and the chopped candy on top is perfect. I don’t know how you did it, but you made a completely over-the-top creation look elegant.

  13. It looks amazing! I love all the PB cups on top!

  14. Yum, that looks so amazingly rich and delicious! Nice job.

  15. OH MY GAH. This cheesecake looks incredible, Erin. I am so impressed. I mean, I love love love the chocolate PB combo, but you have taken it to new levels. And what a clever idea for the crust. Making your own PB cookies–smart woman! I need to make this ASAP, and I will be eating the leftover batter with a spoon :)

  16. quel beau cheesecake ! très gourmand et les photos sont magnifiques :)

  17. Yum! I love peanut butter and chocolate! Your cheesecake looks fantastic!

  18. Yum! That looks delicious and decadent!

    I tried a variation on the brownie mosaic cheesecake this time — I think it’s change my opinion on cheesecake, too.

  19. This looks amazing!! I love the photo of the slice in front of the rest of the cake, it looks great!

  20. I have to try your PB cheese cake. I made Jr’s last month and it was a DISASTER!!! But yours looks heavenly. Fantastic job. Very elegant.

  21. Peanut butter cups and cheesecake!? GENIUS!

  22. a reese’s cheesecake – wonderful idea

  23. I know I said I was tired of making cheesecake after hosting this challenge, but this just sounds so good! Beautifully done, and all the extra parts you prepared are really impressive. Thanks for participating in this month’s challenge!

    -Jenny of JennyBakes

  24. P.S. You are moving to Greenville? Maybe we should have a baking meetup!

  25. Oh my god, I think you just broke me! This looks so incredible… the pictures were amazing enough to lure my boyfriend from across the room, who said “oh god, are those peanut butter cups???” :-)

    I’m actually the Abbey behind the recipe’s name, and am so incredibly stunned by all these wonderful creations you and the fellow Daring Bakers have come up with. This one is definitely in my top 5 so far, and I’ve only made a small dent in the blogroll.

    I’m so glad you loved the recipe as much as I do, probably because I too hate cheesecakes that taste too much of cream cheese (I hate the flavor of cheese, believe it or not!). I think you could even try the base recipe without chocolate and peanut butter and still be happy. :-) Thanks for all your wonderful comments!

  26. What a great, classic combo! It looks delicious!

  27. Your cheesecake looks yummy!

  28. Mmm, your cheesecake looks amazing!! I love the flavours you used =D

  29. Wow this looks good! And it’s very impressive that you made all of the components! The cookies for the crust, the patties for the top. Mmm.

  30. I love peanut butter cups and this looks very good. I want a piece!

  31. I just came across your website, very cool. This is an amazing looking cheesecake, I hope to have time later this week to bake it! Do you know of a healthier alternative to using regular cream cheese?

  32. The Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies recipe is missing the amount of chocolate chips. The recipe you took it from called for 1/2 – 3/4 cup. I’ll assume it’s that.

  33. I made this today. I’m deployed so I had to make my own reeces. It was sooooo amazing. The best ever. I will have to make again. Everyone loved it. Great great cheesecake.

  34. […] first used these cookies as the crust for this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, but I started thinking about them again and thought they deserved a post of their own.  The […]

  35. Ya this recipes looks amazing. I’m going to call my gf over right now and bake it!

  36. I found this recipe saturday night after friends had requested something with chocolate and peanut butter and possibly cheesecake to have for a dinner wednesday (tonight). Well this recipe obviously fit all the criteria. It was one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had an it was enjoyed by all who tried it. Thanks so much for posting the recipe, its a winner!

  37. […] Cheesecake? Try these recipes from the foodblogs: Mini Cherry Cheesecakes from Pinch My Salt Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Dinner and Dessert Bourbon Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake from Andrea Meyers Ginger Cheesecake from […]

  38. […] Cherry Cheesecakes from Pinch My Salt Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Dinner and Dessert Bourbon Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake from Andrea Meyers Ginger Cheesecake from […]

  39. […] result.  However, I was merely following a recipe this time.  You can find the entire recipe here. I followed it to a T…the only thing I didn’t do was serve it with peanut butter ice […]

  40. […] Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake  […]

  41. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a
    very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable
    for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?

    Great work!

  42. I made this cheesecake for my stepson’s birthday. SO creamy and rich, and turned out better than anything I’ve ever bought or ordered at a cafe. Highly recommend it.

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