Epic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

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This was my first food post on my friend’s blog A Delicious Distraction, and my first food blog post ever!  I decided that my inaugural post would be this most amazing, epic and totally decadent cheesecake.  I made this for myself just for fun, but it is so good that if you make it for an event people will be raving about it all night.  I found the recipe from my favorite baking blog Brown Eyed Baker.  I adjusted the baking directions to help the cheesecake cool slow enough to not crack.

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It has an oreo crust, a layer of chocolate fudge, crumbled Reese’s, chocolate ganache topping, and if you feel so inspired you can decorate it with a deliciously creamy peanut butter frosting.    If you love peanut butter and chocolate I highly recommend treating yourself to this delight!  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Epic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients

Crust:
32 Oreo cookies, finely crushed or ground in a food processor
5½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Fudge:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20 miniature peanut butter cup candies, unwrapped and roughly chopped

Peanut Butter Cheesecake:
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs

Ganache Topping:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (300 degrees F if you are using a dark or non-stick pan). Butter a 9″ springform pan and set aside.

2. The Crust: Mix the oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a bowl until the crumbs are moist.  Then press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of the springform pan.  Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let cool.

4. The fudge: Heat the cream until it simmers over medium heat.  Then pour the cream over the chopped chocolate in a separate bowl.   Let  it stand for 1-2 minutes and then add the vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate cream mixture is smooth and combined. Pour the fudge over the crust and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove it from freezer, sprinkle the chopped Resse’s over the fudge and place the crust back into the freezer for 10 more minutes.

5. The peanut butter cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together on medium speed until smooth. Then add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium until they are thoroughly combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on low.  Beat the eggs just until they are combined with the cream cheese mixture.  Do not overmix or else your cheesecake will have too much volume.

6. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling over the crust.  Bake the cheesecake until the sides of the cheesecake are set and the middle just slightly jiggles, about 1 hour.  Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven (this helps the cheesecake shrink slowly to prevent cracking).  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and run a knife around the edge of the crust to slightly separate the crust from the pan. Cool the cheesecake to room temperature (at least 1 hour). Refrigerate the cheesecake at least 4 hours until it is thoroughly chilled. Carefully remove the sides from the springform pan before serving.

7. The ganache topping: place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Simmer the heavy cream over medium heat. Immediately pour the simmering cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes and then stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the ganache on the top of the cheese and spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Return to the refrigerator to set the ganache (~20 minutes).

8.  If you wish decorate it with some creamy peanut butter frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe

adapted from Food Network

Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl  and mix on medium-low speed until creamy.   Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you mix. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.  Apply generously to the cheesecake!

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