Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake.

As ever, Nigella Lawson dishes out another perfect dessert recipe. There isn’t much need of an introduction for this beaut. I’ll just say that every step of the process is spoon-smackingly, bowl-lickingly good, and that the finished product is indulgent and fluffy and dreamy in every way. A graham cracker crust with bits of chocolate in it, filled with a smooth and creamy peanut butter cheesecake, and finished with a sweet, chocolate topping. Glamorous. Indulgent. Chocolate peanut butter cheese cake. Enjoy.

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PS I looked for the video footage from Nigella’s show of the episode for which she makes this cheesecake, but I couldn’t find it. It looks so dang amazing when she makes it, I’ve had it on my list for at least a year.

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INGREDIENTS

for crust:
12 graham crackers (or 1 1/2 packets, from a box of three 8-cracker packets) (sub any gluten-free cookies if you like)
4 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 tsp vegetable oil

for filing (all these ingredients must be at room temperature):
16 oz cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (I used one packet of low fat and 1 packet of full-fat)
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
heaping 1/2 cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used non-fat Greek yogurt)
1 cup smooth peanut butter

for topping:
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 scant cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

Just the Recipe link: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Let your puppy eat the pieces of graham cracker that you'll inevitably drop.
Let your puppy eat the pieces of graham cracker that you’ll inevitably drop.

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 338 F (okay, so you can go with 350 F if you like and you’ll be fine. I converted this recipe from metric, and the original 170 C is exactly 338 F. I do what I’m told).

Next, the crust. In all honesty, crust is my favorite part of any cheesecake, and this one is awesome. One thing I didn’t do, but I think I will next time, is to start by pulverizing the chocolate chips in the food processor, so that they’ve broken up before the rest of the ingredients are added. This time, I added all the crust ingredients at once and pulsed until they came together, drizzling in just enough of the vegetable oil until the crust started to hold together. There were some chunks of chocolate left un-blitzed, so next time I’ll blitz the chocolate separately first.

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Turn it out into a well-greased spring-form pan and use your fingers to press it into the bottom and up the sides. Put the crust in the fridge while you make the filling.

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In a food processor, combine all the filling ingredients until totally smooth. Jeez, that’s beautiful.

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Pour filling into the graham cracker shell. Spread it gently into all the “corners ” (can circles have corners?), careful not to mess with the tenuous architecture of the crust.

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Bake for about an hour, but check it as it nears the end of the baking time. You want the top to be set and no longer wet or sticky, but for the inside to still be jiggly. In Nigella’s words, we’re looking for the center to have “just a hint of inner-thigh wibble.” Perfection. But I forgot to take a picture before I doused it in chocolate. See next step.

When the cheesecake is nearing the end of it’s bake time, melt all the topping ingredients in a pan over low until they come together. Pour over the cheesecake once it comes out of the oven, and then pop it right back into the oven for about 10 minutes, so that the topping can set.

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Take it out of the oven and pop it right into the fridge to chill overnight, cake pan and all (careful when you take it out of the pan though, as the chocolate topping is prone to stick to the sides). To be honest, I made this cheesecake to give to friends, so all it got was a quick chill in the freezer for an hour and then another hour or so in the fridge until we ate it. So the overnight chilling time isn’t mandatory, but it is nice.

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