My Husband is kind of a Peanut butter-chocolate fanatic; he can devour an entire bag of Reese's peanut butter cups, easy (even though he'd make himself sick). So, for Valentine's Day, I decided I needed to make something chocolate & peanut butter, but it had to be so much better than that Hershey's Reese's, too sweet, artificial crap. I was inspired by Martha Stewart's peanut butter chocolate swirl cheesecake recipe, but I haven't had the best luck with Martha's cheesecake recipes, (hers always seem to crack) so I made one up.
I have a relatively small spring form pan, only eight inches in diameter, but that is plenty big enough for a cake for two, and it has the added bonus of being able to fit in my toaster oven. Did you ever think you'd bake a cheesecake in a toaster oven? Anyway, if you have a standard 10 inch diameter spring form pan, and are serving more than two people, you should double this recipe.
This cheesecake is soooo velvety and rich. It is the perfect balance of sweet and salty and tangy. I'm usually a cheesecake purist, but this one "takes the cake."
for the crust:
1 Cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup melted butter (unsalted)
*mix together with fork and press into the bottom of a spring form pan. Parchment paper in the bottom is a genius idea!
for the cheesecake:
1lb cream cheese (two 8oz packages, room temp)
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
*preheat your oven to 325˚F. For best results blend ingredients together in a food processor until smooth, but if you don't have a food processor, use the paddle attachment on your mixer, or mix by hand with a wooden spoon. Do not whisk, whisking incorporates too much air and will make your cheesecake poof up and crack. Pour the batter on top of prepared crust and tap on the counter to smooth and knock out bubbles. Set your spring form pan in a rimmed baking pan, and fill baking pan with about a half inch of water. Bake for 40 minutes at 325˚F. Remove promptly.
for the chocolate topping:
3 oz semi sweet chocolate
3 Tbs heavy cream
3 Tbs creamy peanut butter
*melt the chocolate with the cream in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix. Spread chocolate-peanut butter mixture on top of your cheesecake. Cool at room temperature for thirty minutes then chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, un-spring, cut and serve!