Friday, 25 January 2013

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake.

It was my birthday week this week...yes thank you very much I did indeed get your card. I am a birthday person and while there wasn't a big party or any drinking til dawn, it did mean that I was allowed to buy new clothes without feeling bad, it meant that I let myself watch a whole afternoon of Sex and the City and Little Women (for the balance, you know) without making myself get up and fold the washing or clean the bath and it meant that I made the most gluttonous cheesecake you can possibly imagine even though only 50% of my household (me) will eat it.

I've been meaning and wanting to make this cake for aaaaaaaaages, but being that the other 50% of my household is not a peanut butter lover, which yes indeed would be a deal braker were he not so very lovely in all other ways, plus he takes car of all the car duties (phew), it doesn't make sense. And...being able to see exactly how much peanut butter chocoalte cheesecake you and only you have eaten, as represented in pie-chart (cheesecake-chart) form, is not good for your self-esteem...especially when meany physios tell you not to run more than 2 miles.

So I decided that birthday week was an excuse to be selfish and make it anyway and eat it anyway...even if it means having to have people round to dinner so I can force a slice down them so I don't feel so greedy (jokesjokes...I really DO enjoy being sociable...sometimes).

I hope fop your sake that you are surrounded by peanut butter lovers and therefore don't have to wait so long to make this cake, because it is WAY easier than it would have you believe and oh my DAYS so wonderfully peanut buttery and chocolatey and all the things you'd imagine a PEANUT BUTTER and CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE (I just thought I should reiterate the genius of the collaboration we've got going on here) to be.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake
From Nigella's Kitchen.

A few notes:
  • You need to make this the day before you eat it; always good to know before you start.
  • The easiest and most hassle free way of making this will be with a food processor. If you are without one however, don't will have to tweak the base; leaving out the chocolate and peanuts because I'm not sure how you'd bash them to a powder without a processor, and you could use chocolate chip cookies instead of digestives to compensate...just pop them in a plastic food bag and bashbashbash them with a rolling pin. The filling would just need an extended beating with a hand whisk.  
  • The cream cheese absolutely 100% MUST be at room temperature before you NOT think you'll be able to get away with using it straight from the fridge. Sorry for the firmness....but I've told you about my mistakes in this area before and wish someone was as demanding with me at the time.
Makes one beast of a cheesecake
You will need

1x23cm cake tin (spring-form will be easiest), greased

For the base
200g digestive biscuits
100g dark chocolate, chips or chopped from a bar
50g salted peanuts
50g soft butter

For the filling
500g cream cheese, at room temp
3 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
125ml sour cream
250g smooth peanut butter

For the topping
250ml sour cream
100g milk chocolate
30g soft brown sugar

  • First job, as ever, preheat the oven to 170°c.
  • Process the base ingredients to a powder and press into the bottom of you cake tin using your fist or a spatula. Pop in the fridge.
  • Wash up your processor bowl and blade and process all your filling ingredients to a smooth, glossy, manila coloured gloop.
  • Pour the filling over the base in the cake tin and bake in the centre of your oven for around about 1 hour, though I would check after 45 minutes; what you're looking for is a mostly set cake with just a hint of wibblyness in the middle, or as Nigella so fabulously puts it...inner thigh wobble.
  • Make the topping by putting all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heating gently until the chocolate has melted and you have a glossy sauce.
  • Pour the topping over the top of the cake and put back in the oven for a final 10 minutes.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin and then leave to chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Let it sit out of the fridge for a while before you serve the cake, without letting it fully come to room temperature,

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