Monday, August 30, 2010
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
This was my birthday cake this year. It was so rich and satisfying! I loved it!
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
24 ounces cream cheese
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (9 ½ ounces) creamy standard peanut butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan tightly in aluminum foil (this will keep the water in the water bath from seeping into the batter as the cake bakes); set aside.
Stir the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until the graham cracker crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Pour a little more than half of this mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan and press it all the way to the edges so that it coats the bottom of the pan. Pour the rest of the mixture around the inner seam of the pan, where the rim meets the bottom, and press the crust halfway up the sides of the pan, filling in along the bottom where necessary. Set aside.
Beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. If you rub a small bit between your fingers, you should feel only a few sugar granules. Beat in the peanut butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. Finally, beat in the sour cream and vanilla.
Taking care not to disturb the crust, pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth its top with a rubber spatula. Place the springform pan in a high-sided roasting pan that’s large enough to accommodate it comfortably. Fill the pan with hot water until it comes about halfway up the outside of the springform pan.
Bake until the top is lightly browned and the custard jiggles slightly (the center should not yet be set)—about 50 – 60 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath and cool it completely to room temperature on a wire rack.
Remove the foil and cover the pan with plastic wrap, taking care not to press the wrap onto the surface of the cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight.
Unlatch the sides and transfer to a serving platter. If desired, run a long knife between the bottom of the pan and the cake, then gently slide the cake onto the serving platter.
(Note: I put a layer of chocolate ganache on top after the cake had refrigerated. I made the ganache with about 9 ounces of chopped dark chocolate, 6 ounces heavy cream (heated), and a little vanilla. After letting the ganache set until slightly thickened, I poured it onto cheesecake and sprinkled it with chopped peanuts.)
Recipe Source: The Ultimate Peanut Butter Book