I’m going to spend a weekend baking American treats with my friends. I will write more about that in time but for now, lets suffice to say, I am going to publish a series of American themed baking posts.
This first post 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.
I have used several different Nigella recipes to cobble this together, adapting them slightly as I went. 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 actually it 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 and being very careful with my ingredient measuring and so it is quite light on equipment too. The only thing to really bare 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
300ml Sour Cream
6 Tsp Caster Sugar
½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
100g Peanut Brittle (recipe will be linked soon, otherwise use shop-bought)
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 2 Large Eggs and 160g Caster Sugar to the melted chocolate and stir thoroughly.
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 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.