There is no surprise here that I love cheesecake! Then there is cheesecake with two of my other favorite things-chocolate and peanut butter- and that makes this cheesecake the bomb! My husband had one bite of this cheesecake and claimed that it tasted just like Reese’s. That is a total win!
When I thought up of this recipe, I knew that I wanted two distinct layers of chocolate and peanut butter. Of course, there needed to be a generous layer of chocolate ganache on top of the cheesecake to seal the deal! I love the contracting colors of the two layers. It makes the cheesecake look fancy, but it really is not all that much work!
This cheesecake only has half a cup of sugar, so you can go ahead and cut that second piece for yourself guilt-free! I wanted to let the chocolate and peanut butter flavors shine and so kept the sugar to a minimum. There is something about desserts that are laden with sugar that is just a turn off!
There is something special about the crust of this cheesecake that totally marries all the flavors together and adds so much depth to this cheesecake. Speculoos cookies! I am obsessed with them. I used half graham crackers and half speculoos cookies in the crust, added butter and a wee bit of vanilla. The result was an amazing base for the cheesecake topping to follow! If you only have cookie butter on hand, use only graham crackers and scoop in two tablespoons of the cookie butter. You will need to add only one or two tablespoons of butter. The crumb will be sticky and wet. Press it into the springform pan and then freeze the crumb for at least half an hour before baking.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake
- 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup speculoos cookies, such as Biscoff or Lotus*
- 4T butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 16 ounces cream cheese- room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 eggs- room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate**
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup cream
- Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Line a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, blend graham crackers and speculoos cookies until finely ground; add butter and vanilla and pulse until moistened. This could be done by hand too.
- Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and pat in gently. Freeze the crust for 15-20 minutes until set. Bake until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
- While crust is baking, make filling.
For the filling
- Beat together the sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla.
- Divide the cheesecake filling equally into two bowls.
- In a separate bowl, warm the peanut butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Add the warmed peanut butter to one of the cheesecake fillings and whisk the mixture till smooth. Set aside.
- In another bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate. You can do this in the microwave at 20 second bursts, making sure to mix the chocolate between each burst. Once melted, add the chocolate to the second bowl of cheesecake filling. Whisk the mixture till smooth and all the chocolate is combined.
- Spread the peanut butter layer first to the baked crust (the crust till be hot at this time).
- Next add the chocolate cheesecake filling layer over the peanut butter layer.
- Return the pan to the oven. This time place the pan in a bain marie: set the cake pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Once in the oven, carefully ladle boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of cake pan. The cheesecake is ready once it has set. The filling should jiggle only slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack and then chill until cold before pouring the ganache.
- Warm the cream on a stove top. Once, the cream simmers add on top of the chocolate chips
- Let the cream and chocolate chip mixture sit untouched for 3-4 minutes.
- Mix the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth.
- Spoon over the cooled cheesecake and let set for 30 min.
- Slice and serve
*Readers from Pakistan can you Candy biscuits if they cannot find Lotus or Biscoff cookies
**For a more intense chocolate flavor, you can substitute with dark chocolate as well