I’ve expressed my love for peanuts and peanut butter before, so I have very high standards for any foods that contain peanut butter, especially if it’s cheesecake since that’s one also one of my favourite desserts. I’ve tried peanut butter cheesecakes in restaurants before and, to be honest, I’m nearly always disappointed. There’s only ever a merest hint of peanut butter, but peanut butter is not a subtle flavour and it shouldn’t be an afterthought. This is why I’ve come up with my own cheesecake recipe, which has been inspired by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups which are a weakness of mine.
I actually made this recipe due to a mistake on my part; I was making another batch of my Peanut Butter Cookies and was making twice the amount, but I miscalculated the amount of flour I was using and used too much which resulted in a very dry cookie which lacked sweetness. As I am loathe to throw away so many cookies, I decided these would make a great base for a cheesecake and I was very, very right. So even if you do make a mistake on a recipe, don’t despair, think about how you can use it another way and turn it to your advantage. The base, with an extra addition of a handful of salted peanuts give a nice sweet and salty contrast to the richness of the cheesecake.
Naturally, as this is inspired by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I decided to add them to the top of the cheesecake. Now, you don’t have to do this, but as this is a very rich, very decadent, wonderful cheesecake, then why not go all out? It really is a fantastic cheesecake and an ultimate treat for Peanut Butter fans.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter CheesecakePrint Recipe
- For the base:
- 350g Peanut Butter Cookies
- 50g Salted Peanuts
- 75g Butter, Melted
- 50g Caster Sugar
- For the filling:
- 580g Full Fat Cream Cheese
- 1 tin Condensed Milk (397g)
- 200g Icing Sugar
- 4 x Gelatine Sheets
- 50ml Milk
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 150g Smooth Peanut Butter
- 100g Dark Chocolate (at least 70% Cocoa)
- 9 x Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Blitz the cookies and in a food processor, or bash in a plastic food bag with a rolling pin, until they become a very fine crumb and add into a bowl with the caster sugar.
Melt the butter and add to the cookie crumbs and mix thoroughly until all the crumbs are coated.
Preheat an oven to 160°C (150°C Fan)/280°F/Gas Mark 3.
Tip the crumbs into a large, loose bottom tin, or preferably springform tin, and press down to form a base. Best thing to do is to use the bottom of a wide a glass to help press down the base firmly.
Pop in the oven for ten minutes to blind bake the buttery biscuit base (that's a lot of B's) and then leave to cool.
Now, in a large bowl, add the cream cheese, sieve in the icing sugar, vanilla extract and the condensed milk and mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined, smooth and creamy.
Take two of the sheets of gelatine, and add into a bowl and cover with half of the milk and leave while they soften.
Take half of the cream cheese mixture and place it into another bowl and add the smooth peanut butter to the mixture and stir in until it's completely combined.
Take the two softened gelatine sheets and the milk they were soaking in and place them into a saucepan over a very low heat and whisk them until the gelatine is completely dissolved.
Tip the gelatine mixture into the peanut butter cream cheese mixture, combine it well and then spoon it onto the biscuit base and smooth it down and place it into the freezer for 30 minutes, or fridge for 1 hour, to set.
Once your first layer of cheesecake has set, take it out of the freezer (or fridge) and now you can prepare your second layer.
Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave in short twenty second bursts, stirring frequently, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl).
Add the dark chocolate into the other half of the cream cheese mixture, mix in thoroughly and repeat the process with the other two sheets of gelatine - soften in milk and dissolve in a saucepan over a low heat - and stir into the mixture.
Spoon over the peanut butter layer and make sure it's smooth, then place back into freezer for half an hour to set a little.
Add the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups onto the top of the cheesecake, pressing in slightly, and then place in the fridge to set for a minimum of four hours.