Wednesday, April 21, 2010

VERY RICH peanut butter fudge cheesecake with an OREO crust

I made this for my coworkers bday last week and I promised some of you I'd post the recipe. Sorry it took me so long. A friend of mine showed me another food blog site called foodbuzz and I totally fell in love with a blog on there. This girls stuff is so simple and realistic and if she makes a recipe that isn't hers she doesn't take credit for it. I admire that, no one likes plagerism. :) Not to mention all of her stuff is gorgeous. I've definitly been eyeing some of the food items she's made but the one that caught my eye first was her peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. Hers is Much prettier than mine. LOL. but for my first time using a spring form pan I don't think I did TOO TOO bad. :) Everyone seemed to love it!  It is a VERY rich cake so I'd only recommend it for those big chocolate lovers. Oh yes, my mystery womens blog is called brown eyed baker, and I totally have a crush on her blog. I'd frickin marry it if I could....Mike who? buahahaha! It overall was very easy to make, I think I'd take my time with decorating next time and not rush it so I can go to bed. who needs sleep? beauty is pain right?...lesson learned. recipe as follows.

Peanut Butter-Fudge Cheesecake
Serves 12-16 (depending on how generous you are with portions)
For the Crust:
32 Oreo cookies, finely crushed or ground in a food processor
5½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
For the 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
For the Cheesecake:
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
For the 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. To make the crust, stir the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl with a fork until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. (I like to use the bottom a measuring cup to press the crumbs around the pan. I’ve found that they get evenly distributed that way and end up looking neater around the sides.) Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let cool.
4. To make the fudge, put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately pour the simmering cream over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1-2 minutes, then add the vanilla extract and stir with a whisk or rubber spatula until smooth and combined. Pour the fudge into the cooled crust and spread evenly over the bottom. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and sprinkle surface with the chopped peanut butter cups. Return to freezer for 10 more minutes.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Scrape the bowl and mix on low for another 20 seconds.

6. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling over the fudge and peanut butter cups. Bake until the sides of the cheesecake are set and the middle just slightly jiggles, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature (at least 1 hour). Refrigerate the cheesecake at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled. To unmold the cheesecake, wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to loosen the crust from the sides. Carefully remove the sides from the springform pan.
7. Before serving, prepare the ganache topping. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately pour the simmering cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes and then stir with a whisk or rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the ganache on the top of the cheese and, using an offset spatula, spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Return to the refrigerator to set the ganache, about 20 minutes. Garnish as desired. Brown eyed baker piped a peanut butter frosting, so I did the same. I will post that recipe on my blog as well. ENJOY!!

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