Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake

Peanut butter cheesecake in a chocolate cookie crust, topped with chocolate glaze and chopped peanuts.

So... I had no real recipe for this, haha. I modified my cheesecake recipe to make it a peanut butter cheesecake, and I replaced my normal graham cracker crust with an Oreo crust.

My normal cheesecake recipe calls for 4 packages of cream cheese, but I was making a slightly smaller cheesecake in a smaller spring-form pan, so I reduced the recipe to 3 packages (adjusting the other ingredients by the same 3/4 ratio).

Then! I replaced half of a package of cream cheese with an equal amount of peanut butter. So I had 2.5 packages of cream cheese, and some peanut butter. It looked like this:

I think I'm a bad baker sometimes. Baking is a pretty precise art -- it's chemistry. If you don't measure correctly, your baked good will turn out poorly. However! I had faith that eyeballing the peanut butter wasn't going to spell disaster -- basically because the fat content and consistency of peanut butter is very similar to cream cheese. And, as it turns out, my eyeballing was just the right amount. Enough to get a peanut buttery flavor, but not overwhelming. (And wow, did it smell good as I was mixing it. Nice roasted peanut scent.)

As the cheesecake baked, I made a chocolate glaze using semisweet chocolate chips, some sugar, and a wee bit of milk. I melted and stirred all of that in a double boiler. That sounds all fancy, but here's what you do. You get some water boiling in a small pot. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down low. Then, put all your ingredients in a large bowl, and place the bowl on top of the pot of water. The hot water heats up the stuff in the bowl evenly, without burning anything. Ta-da! Easy.

Using a parchment piping bag, I drizzled the chocolate onto the cooled cheesecake and tossed some chopped peanuts on top. Here's a picture of the entire thing, still inside the spring-form pan. (I didn't want to take it apart until I got to work, so it's a kinda un-aesthetically-pleasing picture. But you get the idea.)

Everyone at work liked it a lot! I was pleased.

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