This creation from Smitten Kitchen was my birthday treat for myself, passing up offers on a raspberry cheesecake from my husband and chocolate ice cream cake from my mom. (In my defense, I had already settled on this cheesecake and purchased all the supplies. Basically, it was already baked in my mind.) I did request rainchecks from both of them ... so can I redeem those right now to eat those things while I write about this cheesecake?
This was good. This was really rich. But it wasn't my favorite. I liked the Irish Carbomb Cheesecake better. The cheesecake itself was a bit more tangy than I'd expect from a peanut butter cheesecake. I'm not sure what beyond that justifies my explanation, but that's all I've got.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
9 oz. (255 grams) chocolate wafers
6 oz. (170 grams) bitter- or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1 cup chips
1/2 cup (95 grams) packed dark brown sugar
7 Tbsp. (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted and still hot
1 cup (235 ml) heavy or whipping cream
13 oz. (370 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp. (30 grams) smooth peanut butter (optional)
16 oz. (455 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (320 grams) smooth peanut butter
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
3/4 cup (180 grams) sour cream
3 large eggs
2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy or whipping cream
4 1/2 oz. (130 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. (15 grams) smooth peanut butter (optional)
Wrap a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch high sides with aluminum foil. In a food processor, blend cookies, chopped chocolate and brown sugar together until finely ground. (If you use chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, you will need less butter.)
Drizzle in melted butter, and process until crumbs begin to stick
together, scraping down the bowl if needed. Transfer crumbs to prepared
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.
To make the fudge layer, bring cream to simmer in large saucepan.
Remove from heat, and whisk in chocolate and peanut butter, if using, until
chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into bottom of chilled
crust, and spread in an even layer. Freeze until fudge layer is firm,
about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 325°F.Using electric mixer, beat cream
cheese, peanut butter and sugar in large bowl until well-blended and
fluffy. Beat in sour cream and then eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Mix
until smooth. Pour over fudge layer that has set in the freezer.
Place foil-wrapped springform pan in a
roasting pan large enough to hold it. Fill roasting pan with enough hot
water to come 1 inch up the sides of the springform, and carefully
transfer to middle oven rack. Bake cake until slightly firm to the touch and the top appears dry, about 75 to 90 minutes.The center two inches
should only move slightly when pan is gently shaken. Transfer cheesecake
to rack to cool to room temperature, and then chill in the fridge until fully cool, at least three hours.
For the ganache topping, heat cream in a small saucepan until
simmering. Off the heat, whisk in choocolate and peanut butter, if
using. Pour onto chilled cheesecake and spread to the edges. Return
cheesecake to the fridge until the ganache sets, about 30 minutes.
To serve, remove cheesecake from springform pan (after running a knife around the edges.) Serves 16 easily.