Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheese Cake

Chocolate Crust

1+ cup of chocolate wafers after being
   smushed in food processor
3/4 cup of bitter or semisweet chocolate,
   coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted and still hot

Fudge Layer

1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1-1/2 cups+ bittersweet or semisweet
   chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

Cheesecake Layer

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ganache Topping

1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/2 cup+ bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (smooth peanut butter)

  • Crust:  In a food processor, blend cookies, chopped chocolate and brown sugar together until finely ground. 
  • Drizzle in melted butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down the bowl if needed. 
  • Transfer crumbs to LARGE springform pan. 
  • Wrap fingers with plastic wrap and press crumb mixture up sides to within 1/2 inch of top, then evenly over bottom of pan. 
  • Chill crust until next step.
  • Fudge:  Bring cream to simmer in large saucepan. 
  • Remove from heat; whisk in chocolate and peanut butter until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. 
  • Can do above in microwave, stirring after each minute until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into bottom of chilled crust and spread in an even layer. 
  • Refrigerate until cheesecake layer is ready. 
  • Heat oven: To 325°F.
  • Cheesecake:  Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar in large bowl until well-blended and fluffy. 
  • Beat in sour cream, then eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. 
  • Mix until smooth. 
  • Pour over fudge layer.
  • Place springform pan on middle baking rack with large pan full of water on rack that is lower.
  • Bake cake until slightly firm to the touch and the top appears dry, about 1 hour. (In the Andes this took over 2 hours).  The centre two inches should only move slightly when pan is gently shaken. 
  • Transfer cheesecake to rack in the fridge.
  • Ganache: Heat cream in a small saucepan until simmering. Off the heat, whisk in chocolate and peanut butter.  (You can also do this in microwave, heating 1 minute at a time and stirring until blended.)
  • Pour onto chilled cheesecake and spread to the edges. 
  • Return cheesecake to the fridge overnight.
  • Serve in very skinny wedges!
  • Freezes well.