Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Unbelievably, Easter is the weekend after next, and you would think that the trees and flowers would already be in full bloom, but spring is coming as slow as molasses around here.  Just this morning, I saw a few tiny green shoots on the tree outside my office window, so there is hope.  But we're actually supposed to get more snow this weekend, too.

The lack of lush greenery and fragrant blooms makes me miss spring in South Carolina, where the dogwood trees are covered in pink and white flowers and the sweet scent of honeysuckle bushes attract bees and hummingbirds.  I can imagine walking barefoot through dew-dampened grass, bits of rich soil and freshly mown grass sticking to my feet, the morning chill giving way to warm breezes that carry stray flower petals and the aroma of spring.

The grocery store aisles of Easter candy are tempting, in particular the Cadbury eggs, but so far all I've bought was a bag of dark chocolate eggs.  Since Jamie loves chocolate and peanut butter, I made a peanut butter cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust, garnished with the chocolate eggs.

The cheesecake was so creamy, and not too sweet, and dare I say, better than a peanut butter filled egg.  A perfect Easter dessert.

One Year AgoA Mouthful of Pie (Coconut Cream Pie and Key Lime Pie for Easter)
Two Years AgoFlourless Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 cups very finely crushed Oreos, including the cream filling (about 1/2 package)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • Chocolate eggs, peanut butter cups, etc.

Preheat the oven to 325.  Combine the crushed Oreos, salt and melted butter.  Press against the bottom and up the sides of a 7-inch springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Pour 1/2 cup heavy cream into microwave-safe measuring cup. Add gelatin and whisk to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes; it will be thick and clumpy.  Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds to completely dissolve the gelatin.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and brown sugar at medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, peanut butter, vanilla bean paste and gelatin mixture (strain the gelatin mixture if there are any lumps) and beat at medium-high speed until smooth and thick with no lumps, about 2-3 minutes, scraping the bowl down a few times.

Spread the filling over the cooled crust and smooth out the top.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and set, about 3-4 hours, then carefully remove the sides of the pan and set the cheesecake on a serving pedestal.  Top with the candy and serve.

Yields 8-10 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen