Yesterday was The Husband’s birthday. There was also a pre-Thanksgiving party at work, so he asked if I would make him a special dessert. He doesn’t often ask for a specific treat, so it’s hard to say no. But I was surprised by his request. A little more than a week ago, I made a peanut butter cheesecake with chocolate ganache topping when we had some friends over. The Husband really liked it. I mean, *really* liked it. As in, we still had a couple of slices in the refrigerator when he asked if I would make it for his birthday. I suppose it’s not too surprising for a guy whose favorite candy is the Reese’s cup, but still . . . when there’s still some in the fridge? Well, for a birthday, ok.
The first time I made this I was using some leftover cream cheese and didn’t measure anything out for a 9-inch springform pan. This time I used a 10-inch pan. Cheesecake is easy to modify by size because the proportion is roughly for each 8 oz pkg of cream cheese you need 1/4 c. sugar and 1 egg, so feel free to scale down for your pan size.
Someone asked me about cutting the cake so the top looks good. The secret is to use a thin, sharp knife and wash it with very hot water between each and every cut.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Ganache
1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar
In a medium bowl, stir together crust ingredients. Press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool.
4 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
Turn oven down to 325 F and place a pie pan of water on the bottom rack.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and no lumps remain, scraping the bowl frequently. Add peanut butter and beat at high speed until mixture is smooth.
Add sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate each time. Scrape the bowl frequently, making sure to get all the way to the bottom of the bowl each time. Spread into the springform pan, smoothing with a rubber spatula.
Bake at 325 F for 45-55 min or until center is set. Cool for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge and release the side of the pan. Cool completely; refrigerate.
1/2 c. whipping cream
1 c. chocolate chips
In a small pan, heat the whipping cream to simmering. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth. Spread over the top of the cheesecake.
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