Saturday, May 16, 2020

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

These little gems always get rave reviews, and I can understand why!

What's not to love about these mini cheesecakes?

They're individual, they're decadent, they LOOK like they came from a bake-shop, they combine the two best things EVER (chocolate + peanut butter!)...

Plus.. they are gluten-free!

If you love nuts then you will go nuts about these!

The base is simple and homemade made from ground almonds, sugar and cocoa! It's tastier and even healthier than graham cracker if you ask me ;)

The creamy cheesecake filling is rich and packed with peanut butter flavour (you can also use almond butter), and then I top it with thick, silky dark chocolate ganache.

How to make Creamy Cheesecake:

1. Make sure the cream cheese is completely at room temperature. This ensures that there will be no lumps.

2. Before adding any other ingredients, beat the soft cream cheese until smooth and silky.

3. Always mix sugar with the cream cheese before beating in any other liquid ingredients, such as egg. Sugar helps to break down the cream cheese and also binds to the moisture within it to make a syrup that will make it appear silky and glossy.

I shouldn't know this, but they make the most satisfying treat straight from the freezer ;)

Make them today and tell me how much you love them!

This recipe is based on my "Choco Nutter Cheesecakes" is in the CAKES & CUPCAKES chapter of Scientifically Sweet: Chocolate cookbook, available on Amazon.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecakes
makes 12 individual cheesecakes

For the base:
1 cup (140g) whole roasted almonds
2 tbsp (12g) cocoa powder
3 tbsp (40g) granulated sugar
3 tbsp (42g) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
300g cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tbsp (30ml) honey
¼ cup (60ml) natural smooth almond or peanut butter
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp (30ml) 10% half & half cream

For the topping:
½ cup (120ml) 35% whipping cream
5 oz (142g) dark chocolate

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Spread almonds out on a baking tray and roast for 8-10 minutes, until their skins begin to split and they smell fragrant. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Place cooled almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are broken down to coarse crumbs. Add cocoa and sugar and pulse again until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse to blend so that the mixture holds together in clumps. Divide mixture evenly among paper liners and press it down with the back of a spoon to form a compact even layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until it feels dry. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

To make the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth using an electric hand mixer. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and glossy. Beat in egg until well combined and then mix in honey and almond or peanut butter. Add vanilla and cream and mix until smooth. Spoon mixture over cooled almond crusts, dividing it evenly among them, and spread it out evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheesecake looks matte and feels slightly firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely or refrigerate to speed up the process.

To make the topping, heat cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Let stand for a minute before stirring gently until glossy and smooth. Spoon ganache over cooled cheesecakes and spread it out evenly. Refrigerate until set. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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