…swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh.
So begins the opening refrain of ‘Don’t Dream It, Be It’ from that camp classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Never have the lines of a song so aptly described the state of mind and even being when you commit to making Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. The combination of salty sweet peanuts and chocolate is a Camp Hill classic. I have wanted to make this for so long but it’s an ‘occasion’ dessert – there needs to be a swag of people around to ooh and aah and partake of this divine and decadent treat. The other reason you need a large group is that one small sliver will be enough for each person that dips a toe into those warm waters.
Luckily, the baby Jesus offered just such an occasion, being Christmas Eve, Eve. This is unbelievably easy to make and impresses all upon it’s reveal. Please don’t be put off by my very average photography. This served 8 people on the first night and then another 5 the next evening. There is still a quarter stashed in the freezer for an emergency. I can confirm that it is indeed like one gianormous Peanut Butter Cup.
- for the base:
- 200g digestive biscuits (Aussies – use ‘Wheatmeal’ biscuits)
- 50g salted peanuts
- 100g dark chocolate chips
- for the filling:
- 50g soft unsalted butter
- 500g cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 3 extra egg yolks
- 200g caster sugar
- 125ml sour cream
- 250g smooth peanut butter
- for the topping:
- 250ml sour cream
- 100g milk chocolate melts
- 30g soft brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170°c
- Process the biscuits, peanuts, dark chocolate chips and butter for the base in a food processor.
- Once it comes together in a clump, turn it out into a 23cm springform tin and press into the bottom and up the sides to make the crunchy crust.
- Place in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Process the filling in the cleaned or wiped-out processor bowl, putting in the cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks, sugar, sour cream and peanut butter and whizzing to a smooth mixture.
- Pour and scrape the filling into the base in the chilled springform tin and cook for 1 hour, though check after 50 minutes. The top – only – should feel set and dry.
- Take the cheesecake out of the oven while you make the topping.
- Warm the sour cream and chocolate with the brown sugar gently in a small saucepan over a low heat, whisking to blend in the chocolate as it melts, and then take off the heat.
- Spoon and spread the topping very gently over the top of the cheesecake, trying not to break the surface of the cheesecake
- Put it back in the oven for a final 10 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, let the cheesecake cool in its tin and then cover and put into the fridge overnight.
- When you are ready to eat the cheesecake, take it out of the fridge, just to take the chill off: this will make it easier to spring from the tin. Don’t let it get too warm, though, as it will become a bit gooey and be hard to slice.
– Who can be bothered with choc bits, choc melts etc? Not me. I used very good quality 70% dark cooking chocolate for both the base and topping. Just break up the chocolate for the base into small pieces before you wizz it in the food processor
– Of course I bought unsalted peanuts by mistake so I just added a sprinkle of salt to the crust mix to give the right salty/sweet balance and it was fine
– I’m still using my original Breville Kitchen Wizz from the 1980’s so I had to make the filling in two batches as my Wizz wasn’t big enough. 30 years on and it’s still going strong. I just combined them into one mixing bowl afterwards, gave a quick stir and poured into the tin.
*may contain traces of indulgence