Once my mom and I discovered the ease of making cheesecake, it became a go-to recipe. We followed the tried and true formula of graham cracker crusts that were lightly flavoured with fruit or on my insistence, chocolate chips. We made it for birthdays and holidays until, one day, it wasn’t gobbled up by my dessert loving family. We had gone overboard, making it too many times, for too many occasions. After a long cheesecake baking hiatus, I felt it was time to revisit my recipes and add something new to them. Let’s call it a craving.
An additional motivation for this recipe was to test out some new equipment. I recently invested in a food processor. I have wanted one for years but with all the moving around that we were doing, it just didn’t seem like a wise investment. Now, we’re in a city that we wish to stay and in a home that has a bit more storage than our apartments of the past.
Before I dive into the recipe though, here are some tips on when to serve ths meal-of-a-dessert. Given the heaviness of cheesecake, it should be served after a light and early dinner rather than a 3-course meal. Serve small slices to your guests and if they want more, cut them another slice. If there is leftover cheesecake, simply wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months. Finally, cheesecake is not for everyone. I recall reading the Darina Allen’s cookbook where she admits to having a strong dislike for cheesecake. My advice, when you serve this cake also include a fresh fruit tray for your guests.
My sister, is strangely not a fan of cream cheese. She could easily pass on bagels with cream cheese and has very little interest in a traditional, New York style cheesecake. But, give her peanut butter and something changes for her. So, youngest of the family, this one is for you!
This is a cake project. It cannot be whipped up in a day as the cookie crust needs to be made in advance. The cheesecake needs cooling and resting time in the refrigerator before the addition of frosting. Take your time and enjoy the process!
Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Double Chocolate Cookie Crust
Makes 1 25cm (10 inch) cheesecake (10-12 servings)
Time: Crust preparation (2 hours) + cheesecake (1 hour) + overnight refrigeration + assembly (30 minutes)
Double Chocolate Cookie
230g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
200g (1 cup) brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
250g (2 cups) light buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
175g (1 cup) chocolate chips*
1. Measure and prepare your ingredients.
2. Cream the butter and sugars using a stand or hand held mixer. Scrap down the bowl using a spatula and turn your mixer on again.
3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
4. Mix in the cocoa powder on a slow speed until fully incorporated into the dough.
5. Whisk together the buckwheat flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the cocoa mixture. Scrap down the sides.
7. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.
8. Cover and place dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
9. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) when ready to bake. Prepare your baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.
10. Scoop the cookie dough out forming balls that measure 2 tablespoons.
11. Bake for 11-12 minutes for crispier cookies (crispy cookies work best for the crust). If you are making these to eat right away, bake for 9-10 minutes for soft cookies.
12. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Move the cookies to a cooling rack or enjoy while they are still warm!
1 25cm (10 inch) springform pan
Double Chocolate Cookie Crust
400g of baked cookies (roughly 14-18 cookies)
75g unsalted butter cool to room temperature
500g (2 packages) regular cream cheese, room temperature
250g (1 cup) smooth, natural peanut butter
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
225g (1 cup) sour cream
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fudge Frosting with Peanut Butter (optional)**
250mL (1 cup) whipping cream
2 tbsp maple syrup
350g dark chocolate, chopped***
1-2 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter
Make the Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line the springform pan.
2. Add the double chocolate cookies to a food processor and pulse until they become fine cookie crumbs.
3. Add the butter in small pieces and process until mixed in.
4. Remove from the food processor and press into the bottom of the springform pan.
5. Bake for 7-8 minutes. It will not be fully cooked but the idea is to dry it out a little before adding the cream cheese filling.
6. Cool slightly before adding the filling.
1. Process the filling in a food processor. First, process the cream cheese and peanut butter. This will remove some of the grit from the peanut butter. Add the sugar followed by the sour cream. Add the eggs one at a time then lightly mix to incorporate the vanilla. The result should be a creamy mixture that easily pours into a pan.
2. Pour over top of the prepared crust. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Tap the pan to remove air bubbles.
3. Bake at 240°F (115°C) for 1 hour. The top should not look shiny but the cheesecake may be slightly jiggly at this point.
4. Let cool on a rack and then place, covered in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigeration allows the cheesecake to set and makes it easier to unmold and remove the parchment paper from the crust.
Fudge Frosting (optional)
1. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl (I like to use a ceramic bowl).
2. Heat the whipping cream and maple syrup in a saucepan until it comes to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let rest for 2 minutes. Using a whisk, mix in small circles, gradually getting bigger until the chocolate is melted. Be gentle in your stirring motion as this preserves the shininess of the chocolate and ensures that it does not become gritty.
3. Let cool slightly before using on the cheesecake.
1. Unmold the cheesecake. You may need to run a knife along the outer edge. Tip the cheese a little to carefully peal off the parchment.
2. Using a metal spoon, add dollops of frosting to your cheesecake. You will likely have leftover frosting which can be stored and used in another project! Cover most of the cake in a thin layer of frosting. Add desired amount of peanut butter in drops on the top of the frosting (you may need to slightly warm the peanut butter to make it more spreadable). Using a small knife, gently swirl the peanut butter into the chocolate.
3. Set aside to cool.
Enjoy a small slice with a glass of milk!
* If you are only baking the cookies (which are delicious on their own), add an extra 175g (1 cup) of chocolate chips.
** The addition of the fudge frosting makes this a very decadent dessert. I have included it as an option as the cheesecake is also delicious without it. I find the cheesecake easily bakes without cracks so it is beautiful to serve on its own. Another option (somewhat lighter than the frosting), is to melt some chocolate and simply drizzle a little bit on top of the cake.
*** I use the President’s Choice Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids and UTZ certified) brand. This is available at Loblaws Grocery Stores in Ontario.
**** Fudge frosting from recipe adapted from "Tea with Bea" from Bea's of Bloomsbury
Tags: cheesecake chocolate peanut butter buckwheat flour gluten free