Friday, January 24, 2014

Chocolate Cheesecake with Peanut Butter Crust {Recipe}

It's that time of year... when I make a ridiculous chocolate dessert for my husband's birthday... This year's entry: Chocolate Cheesecake with Peanut Butter Cookie Crust.

What You Need:
Peanut Butter Crust:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter - cold
3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

Chocolate Cheesecake Layer:
3- 8 oz. bricks of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup sour cream (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs (at room temperature)
6 oz. melted chocolate (semisweet recommended)

*Yield: One 9-10" Round Cheesecake- Serves about 16-20 people.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (F).
Line the bottom of a 9-10" springform pan with parchment paper.
Find a roasting pan large enough for the cake pan to sit inside straight and comfortably.

Make The Crust:
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the flour and sugar. Add the butter, cut into chunks. Mix on low until the butter becomes pea-sized chunks.
Add the peanut butter. Mix on low until the peanut butter is well-blended. (It will still be crumbly.)
Add the egg, and again mix on low until the entire mixture is pea-sized chunks.

Dump the dough into the lined springform pan.

Press the dough into the pan, about halfway up the sides -- making sure to press the bottom rim tight or you will have a really thick lip on the bottom edge.

Bake in the 350-degree (F) oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack while you make the cheesecake filling.

**Note: When you remove the crust from the oven, start a tea kettle on the stove to boil, and turn the oven down to 325-degrees (F).

Make the Cheesecake Filling

In the mixer bowl, combine the room temperature cream cheese and sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy.
Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix well.
Add each egg, one at a time, mixing well with each addition.

Melt 6 oz. of semisweet chocolate. (I usually melt it in the microwave at 30% power. It takes between 3-5 minutes. Check it frequently to keep it from burning.)
Add the melted chocolate, and mix until no white streaks remain.

Bake the Cheesecake:

Wrap the bottom of the pan with heavy duty foil. If you don't have heavy duty, I recommend using two pieces of regular foil. You want to wrap it up as high along the sides as possible. This keeps the water from seeping into the pan and making the crust soggy. (It really does happen. I've done it before. It ruins the cheesecake, so DON'T SKIP THIS STEP!)

Pour the cheesecake batter into the partially-baked crust.
Set the pan in the oven, and pour the boiling water to about halfway up the cake pan.
**NOTE: If your foil doesn't reach halfway up the pan, pour the water only to just below the top of the foil. If the water goes above the foil it is useless!

Bake at 325-degrees (F) for about an hour and a half. You want to remove the cheesecake when most of the "wiggle" is gone. This took my oven 90 minutes. Remove the pan to a cooling rack. (Yes, my top cracked. I'm really quite fine with that.)
Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then slide a sharp knife along the edge to loosen the crust from the pan.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to overnight.

Remove from the pan.

Drizzle with melted chocolate, melted peanut butter, or both.

Enjoy! (Serve small slices. It is rich, rich stuff.)

PS- Happy Birthday, Jason!

Click the Links Below to See More Chocolate:
The Most Ridiculous Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
Chocolate Lover's Cake

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