Take a note from my experience and give this cheesecake a try. I received many compliments about this cheesecake. I can’t tell you how many people loved this recipe. I did have to give credit to my son for giving me the peanut butter idea! He was spot on and had more than one piece of the cheesecake I made for home. Give this recipe a try and take it to a potluck or to your friends house to brighten their day!
Check out what our friends from Smitten Kitchen have to say about this:
“Really, I can’t go any further without warning you that this is the type of cake where even a sliver will feel like a massive portion.”
The great thing about this cheesecake is that one cake goes a long way. It’s so deliciously rich that a small sliver of the cheesecake is satisfying enough. Which means that there is plenty to go around! Can’t complain about that!
9 ounces (255 grams) Nabisco chocolate wafers (such as these; the cookie portion of these are best for homemade crumbs)
6 ounces (170 grams) Hershey’s bitter- or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1 cup chips
1/2 cup (95 grams) Dominos packed dark brown sugar
7 tablespoons (100 grams) Land O Lakes unsalted butter, melted and still hot
1 cup (235 ml) heavy or whipping cream
13 ounces (370 grams) Hershey’s bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons (30 grams) Jiffy smooth peanut butter (optional)
2 8-ounce packages (455 grams) Philidelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (320 grams) Jiffy smooth peanut butter
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (180 grams) Great Value sour cream
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons (10 ml) McCormicks vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy or whipping cream
4 1/2 ounces (130 grams) Hershey’s bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 grams) Jiffy smooth peanut butter (optional)
Make chocolate crust: If planning to use a water bath, double-wrap outside of a 9-inch springform with 3-inch high sides with aluminum foil (heavy-duty if you have it). 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 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.
Make fudge layer: Bring cream to simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat; 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.
Heat oven: To 325°F.
Make cheesecake layer: 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 that has set in the freezer.
To bake in a water bath: 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.
To bake without a water bath: Place springform (no need to wrap with foil) on middle baking rack.
Both methods, to bake: Bake cake until slightly firm to the touch and the top appears dry, about
1 hour 75 to 90 minutes. I find cheesecake baking times to be the hardest to pin down; it is safest to use this visual guide: The center two inches should only move slightly when pan is gently shaken. Transfer cheesecake to rack in the fridge until fully cool, at least three hours.
Make 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 foil from outside cheesecake pan if you have not already. Gently cut around between edge of cheesecake crust and springform pan to make sure it isn’t sticking. Unhinge the sides. You can serve it on the springform base, or, if you’re feeling confident, slide a knife gently under the bottom crust to loosen it from the springform base and slide the cake onto a serving plate. Serve in very skinny wedges (trust me). Cake keeps in fridge for up to a week, and longer in the freezer.
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Quick Tip: Serve with a cold glass of milk
Thanks again to Smitten Kitchen for this amazing recipe.