Brownie Bottomed Chocolate Peanut Cheesecake” Its does what it says on the tin and it tastes as good as it sounds. Significantly quicker and easier to make than you’d ever imagine, give this Americana inspired cheesecake a go and I promise it will be your decadent favourite forever more!
This is the first in a series of American themed bakes which I have devised with the ultimate plan of hosting a baking weekend with a few of my friends. The choice of bakes is inspired by the American Baking Course at the WI’s Denman College. You might remember the Pastry Weekender course which I wrote about a couple of years ago. The course is taught by Kelly Mauger who appeared with my former tutor Katie Churchard on the 2018 series of Bake Off: The Professionals – I do not profess to possess any of Kelly’s tutoring skills but the weekend will cost significantly less so you get what you pay for!! The other recipes in this series are:
This Brownie Bottomed Chocolate Peanut Cheesecake is not what I was really intending it to be! I was trying to create a recipe that was over the top, very american, probably too sweet and an absolute treat. Instead I created a rather sophisticated bake! I used whole-nut peanut butter for a start and I really do think that made quite a difference to the flavour – a cheaper variety with more sugar and fat will probably result in a rather less delicate affair. The brownie base is neither too dark nor too sweet and the sour cream layer on top (which is essentially optional) provides a tangy note. A very happy accident!
I have used several different Nigella recipes to cobble this together, adapting them slightly as I went to achieve the whole that I was looking for. For the original recipes, please see Nigella Brownies, Nigella Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Nigella London Cheesecake.
There are quite a few ingredients listed here but don’t be put off because this baked cheesecake is actually really rather simple to make. There is no water bath cooking and the filling is an all in one mixture. I make the brownie using only one bowl (being very careful with my ingredient measuring!) and so it is quite light on equipment too. I did use my stand mixer for the filling but only very mild elbow grease is required to mix by hand – aeration is not really required. The only thing to really bear in mind is that you must have a loose bottomed 9″ pan that is at least 5″ deep. A slightly bigger pan would be fine but will result in thinner layers. You will struggle with a smaller pan – I did!
Brownie Base Ingredients:
75g Dark Chocolate
50g Milk Chocolate
2 Large Eggs
160g Caster Sugar
75g Plain Flour
50g Chopped Salted Peanuts
50g Dark Chocolate Chips
6 Large Eggs
500g Cream Cheese (Full Fat)
200g Caster Sugar
125ml Sour Cream
250g Smooth Peanut Butter
- I am generally a fan of the ‘use whatever baking pan you fancy and it will probably turn out fine’ school of thought but in this case you really do need to use a pan which is 9″/23cm and at least 5″/12.5cm deep. A springform tin* like this would be ideal. A slightly bigger pan would be fine but will result in thinner layers.
- I would plan to make this the day before you plan to eat it as it really does need an overnight in the fridge to cool and set properly and for the flavours to meld.
Preheat the oven to 220c.
Line a 9″/23cm Springform cake pan with greaseproof paper. It must be a good deep one!
Add 125g Butter, 75g Dark Chocolate and 50g Milk Chocolate to a medium mixing bowl and blast in the microwave to melt. Stir after 1 minute then keep blasting and stirring in 30 second bursts until everything is melted and combined.
Add 75g Plain Flour, 50g Chopped Salted Peanuts and 50g Dark Chocolate Chips and again stir until completely combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 12/15 minutes until just firm in the middle – sadly this isn’t the occasion for a super gooey in the middle brownie as the cheesecake will simply collapse but it will continue to cook with the filling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 170c when you remove the brownie.
Meanwhile, start the cheesecake filling by separating 3 Large Eggs and putting the whites aside for another time. Add the 3 egg yolks to a mixing bowl (or stand mixer) and add a further whole 3 Large Eggs, 500g Cream Cheese, 200g Caster Sugar, 125ml Sour Cream and 250g Smooth Peanut Butter. Beat the ingredients until smooth and combined.
Pour the filling mix onto the cooked brownie base and bake for 50 minutes, checking towards the end of the cooking time. The filling wants to be just set in the middle.
While the filling is cooking, make the topping ready to add. Mix 300ml Sour Cream, 6 Tsp Caster Sugar and ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract until combined.
Once the filling is cooked, add the topping and bake for a further 10/15 minutes.
Whizz 100g Salted Peanut Brittle up in a little processor or grinder into fine crumbs. Once the cheesecake is cool, sprinkle the crumbs all over the top. This step isn’t needed but it covers up the slightly unattractive top, adds a little extra sweet and peanut.
Leave the cooked cheesecake to cool entirely before serving – ideally overnight.
Let me know what you think in the comments – awesome and sophisticated or would you prefer crazy something less refined?
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For more American Inspired Baking ideas, why not check out some of my other popular recipes:
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