Peanut butter cheesecake

This blog is not dead, it’s just, um…sleeping.  And I’m rousing it (possibly briefly) to share with you a recipe.  For Reese’s peanut butter cup cheesecake.

Yes, you read that right.

I’m blogging much more frequently these days at Evidence-Based Skeptic, but cheesecake doesn’t quite fit with that does it? It doesn’t really fit with a fitness blog either, but sssssh.

I made this cheesecake for my lovely other half’s birthday, and the most challenging thing was the recipe.  How exactly does one know how many whole oreos to use to make 4.5 cups of crumbs?!  How do you know how much butter to cut from the block, so that once melted it’ll be half a cup?!  Fear not – I’ve done the experimenting (and googling) for you, and I present you with my simplified (reasonably idiot-proof) recipe.

You will need

an 8″ spring form tin

a set of measuring cups

a blender or food processor (not essential)

scales (not essential)

couple of mixing bowls

various spoons for mixing & scraping

lots of time (an hour or so for prep, 90 mins in the oven, an hour to cool, and 4 hours in the fridge)

For the crust

2 packets of oreo cookies (28 in total)

1/3 cup melted butter (roughly 85g – you could measure with a scale, or use the lines on the pack to guesstimate how much to use – precision isn’t crucial here)

2/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts (I used mixed chopped nuts)

For the filling

600g cream cheese (two large packs)

3 eggs (mine were medium-sized, seemed to work fine)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (mine was light brown)

2/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1/3 cup whipping cream

2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped into pieces (I cut each one into 6 pieces, like tiny pie slices)

For the topping

1/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup sugar (I used caster)

To make the cheesecake

  1. Crush the oreos into crumbs. A food processor will do this easily, but my rickety old jug blender also managed just fine, about half a pack at a time. Alternatively, shove them in a bag and use a rolling pin to bash them into submission.
  2. Add the nuts and crushed oreos to the melted butter, and mix ’til you have a warm, heavenly-scented bowl of excellence.
  3. Grease the spring-form pan, then use a metal spoon to press the oreo mixture onto the bottom and sides. Wrap the pan in a layer (or two, or more) of tin foil to stop water getting into it later.
  4. Dump the cream cheese into a large bowl and mix until soft (if you take it out of the fridge an hour or so in advance, it should be plenty soft enough).  You can use a food processor for this, but it is very easy to do by hand too.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix thoroughly after each one.
  6. Add the sugar, peanut butter, and cream, and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla extract.
  7. Fold in the chunks of nine chopped peanut butter cups, then pour the whole lot into the prepared oreo crust.
  8. Place the foil-wrapped cheesecake dish into a roasting dish (or other receptacle large enough to hold it), and fill the outer dish with hot water, so that the water comes about an inch up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
  9. Pop into the oven at gas mark 1 (275F, 135C) for about 90 minutes, until it’s reasonably well set, and golden brown on top.
  10. Just before the 90 mins is up, mix together the ingredients for the topping.  Once the timer’s up, spread the topping on the cheesecake and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  11. Carefully remove the cheesecake from its water bath and foil, and leave the whole thing on a wire tray to cool for an hour (about half way through this time, I cut up the remaining three peanut butter cups, and used them to decorate the top). When the hour’s up, move it to the fridge for at least four more hours (preferably more – mine was still gooey in the middle after four hours. Maybe overnight is your best bet).
  12. Run a knife round the edge of the cheesecake to release it from the tin, then carefully remove the springform.  Enjoy peanut buttery goodness 🙂

The original of this recipe can be found here.  It demands a 10″ tin and uses larger quantity, so if you want a truly epic cheesecake that’s the one to go for.  As a nerdy sidenote, I was rather proud of myself when I converted the recipe from the 10″ to the 8″ pan with a simple application of trusty geometry – area = pi*radius squared, and since the depth of a cake tin doesn’t vary much, the 8″ pan has about 2/3 the volume of the larger one.  The quantities I’ve quoted above aren’t exactly 2/3 of the original, but my cheesecake was delicious nonetheless.

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