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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hey Hey It's My First Donna Hay Day!

I had no idea who this Donna Hay gal was until my dear friend Morv filled me in.. come to find out she's the Aussie version of Martha? Say what you will about The Martha, but I heart her - oh yesss I do - so I knew I'd like Donna very muchly. Unfortunately, though, I've never submitted to the HHDD event - until one of my partners in crime, Gracie won the event last month with her beautiful souffle. I knew this month, I could not let her down.

'kay well I almost let her down.. life comes at ya fast, as the saying goes - and my life has been runnin full speed these last few weeks, so I almost ran out of chances to make my cheesecake. Thank the baby Jebus, Peabody gave me a day's grace.. so I'm posting my submission today. You rock, Gracie! :D

Okay.. cheesecake, cheesecake, which one shall I make?? I read mountains of cheesecake recipes - cookbooks strewn everywhere; online recipe sites hit once, twice, thrice; magazines flopped open all over my office - in search of the perfect cheesecake. Stunned, I realized not one damn recipe floated my boat, tripped my trigger or knocked my cotton socks off, so to speak. I was bummed.. I wanted a different kinda cheesecake for this event.. something that would live up to my growing reputation as an Evil Culinary Genius. (Laura Rebecca, you mark me larf out loud) I don't really agree with the genius part, but I'm okay with the Evil part.. it suits me. har!

So as I was sitting in one of the many, many doctor's waiting rooms earlier this week, I started thinking about the cheesecake I ALWAYS order at The Cheesecake Factory. I realize that TCF kind of bastardizes cheesecake with all of their sinful additions and kooky concoctions - but I just can't help it.. their "Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple" sends me into orgasmic shock each time. I know! It's barely a cheesecake what with all the luscious caramel and peanut butter swirled through, not to mention the huge hunks of Reeses Cups and Butterfinger bars embedded in the rich and creamy cheesecake base.. oh and can I forget the peanut butter frosting layer on top? Oh hells no.. No I can not.

Thank God, I don't get to TCF often. *sigh*

So.. there I had it.. I wanted to recreate my favorite cheesecake abomination in my own lil kitchen - but I wanted to make it my own as well. And I think I accomplished just that.

PB Cheesecake

My version of this decadent cake is a chocolate cookie crust, covered by a rich layer of dark chocolate cheesecake, covered by a thick layer of peanut butter cheesecake dotted with crushed up Butterfingers and a butterscotch-caramel swirl throughout. If that weren't enough Evilness, I've also made a peanut butter sauce to drizzle over each slice. I know! I AM Evil, aren't I? MUAHAHAHAAA!!

My evil version of this already sinful cake was most delicious.. and if I am allowed to pat myself on the back a lil.. I think it's even better than TCF's version. Only for the simple fact that the one thing I don't like about their version is the big hunks of candy.. if you aren't paying attention you could break a damn tooth on a rock hard chunk o'Butterfinger! (not that that's stopped me from devouring a slice) So I decided to pulverize my Butterfingers. The flecks of the crushed up candy give the cheesecake a nice texture that's still melt in your mouth good. The dark chocolate layer isn't as sweet as the peanut butter layer, which makes a nice combination that won't send shivers through your teeth. Although not necessary, but the sauce? Well.. okay, let's just put it this way. I'd put this sauce over broccoli and it'd still be delish. hahaa!

As for a recipe, I ended up just making a basic cheesecake from bits and pieces of various cheesecake recipes that I found in cookbooks and online, flavoring the base recipe as I liked. Again, I'm VERY happy over how this cake turned out, but I think next time I decide to make the batter from different recipes, I should put a lil more thought into it - as I ended up making wayyyyyyyy too much batter for a 9" springform pan. Oops! Luckily for me, I got to break in my brand spankin new tiny lil springform pans, leaving me with 2 mini cheesecakes that I will freeze for a later date. Keep this in mind if you'd like to make this cheesecake.. you might want to cut the recipe down to a 1/3rd for a 9" springform pan, or leave recipe as is and bake in a 11" springform pan. Party on peanut butter lovers! Party on!

I'd like to thank Barbara for starting this terrific event and Gracie for not only hosting this month, but for coming up with THE BEST THEME EVER. I can not wait for this round up.. I suspect that I'll never have to go in search of a cheesecake recipe again after seeing everyone's delicious creations. =)

PB Cheesecake
Lisa's Decadent and Ohhh So Evil Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Caramel Ripple Cheesecake - or LDOSEPBDCCRC.
(I should at least win for the longest named cheesecake!)

For the crust:
2-3 c. chocolate wafer cookies, crushed finely (I like a lotta crust)
1/2 c. salted butter, melted + butter for greasing pan(s)

For the cheesecake:
2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 c. white granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 c. sour cream
1/3 c. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. peanut butter
10 mini Butterfinger bites, crushed in food processor
1/2 jar of store bought butterscotch-caramel ice cream topping
3.5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted

PB Cheesecake

For the peanut butter sauce:
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (Whenever I make this sauce [great for apple dipping!] I use the fat-free sweetened condensed milk and it works well.)
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

PB Cheesecake

Combine milk & peanut butter in a heavy sauce pan and cook over low heat, stirring often until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Drizzle over cheesecake slices. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container.

Either crush the wafer cookies in a food processor or put the wafers in a large ziplock bag and beat the bejesus out of them with a heavy rolling pin, such as I did. =) Set aside. Repeat process with the mini Butterfinger bars, crushing them as finely as you'd like - I went for a very fine texture.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease 11" springform pan with butter. Double layer foil wrap the bottom of the pan.

Mix the crushed wafer cookies with the melted butter and press into the bottom and up the sides of your springform pan. Set aside.

Blend the cream cheese until it's creamy. Gradually add the sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and only blend until each egg is incorporated. Add the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Remove 1 1/2 c. of the cream cheese mixture and set aside in a bowl. Add the peanut butter to the original mixture and blend until incorporated. Add the crushed Butterfinger bites.

Blend the melted chocolate into the reserved 1 1/2 c. batter and then spread evenly over the cookie crust. Pour the peanut butter batter over the chocolate layer and spread evenly. Dollop the butterscotch-caramel sauce over the top and then using a toothpick or the tip of a thin knife, swirl the sauce into the batter.

Place the springform pan into roasting pan then fill the roasting pan with 1 1/2 - 2 inches of hot water. Carefully place roasting pan onto middle rack and bake for 1 hour, 5 minutes or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Be careful to not over bake. Cool the cake at room temperature for about an hour, then using a very thin knife, run along the edges of cake to loosen it from the springform pan. Remove the ring of the springform and place cake on dish or serving platter and chill over night.

To make the sauce:
Cook the milk and peanut butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring often until thickened (less than 3 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Drizzle over slices of cheesecake. Leftover sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container.

PB Cheesecake

PB Cheesecake

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Comments on "Hey Hey It's My First Donna Hay Day!"

 

Anonymous Marce at Pip in the city said ... (3/18/2007 3:00 PM) : 

oh my god, I think I just gained 10 pounds by just looking at your pictures! That looks absolutely sinful, in an excellent way.
Oh and thanks for adding me to your blogroll :)

 

Anonymous Ivonne said ... (3/18/2007 3:12 PM) : 

I looked at the pictures. And then I fainted. I revived. I looked at the pictures. And then I fainted again. I revived again and am typing this as quickly as I can before I ... faint ... again.

Beautiful!

 

Blogger Alison said ... (3/18/2007 3:25 PM) : 

Pick me up off the floor after you attend to Ivonne up there....'cause I think I just died and went to heaven!

 

Blogger Brilynn said ... (3/18/2007 4:23 PM) : 

I am most certainly not a cheesecake purist, I will try to cram it full of whatever I please, so I wholeheartedly, (and stomachedly?) support your amazing concoction!

And damn you for having mini cheesecake pans! Does no one get the hint that I need some???

 

Blogger Mary said ... (3/18/2007 4:58 PM) : 

OMG - that creation is totally sinful you evil genius you! And from one genius to another, giving the candy a blitz in the processor is a stroke of genius!

 

Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (3/18/2007 6:07 PM) : 

Eeeeevil. Delicious and evil.

 

Blogger Morven said ... (3/18/2007 6:49 PM) : 

Wow. You really did yourself proud here. Looks like a dessert that cries out to be split - pass the fork please!

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (3/18/2007 8:26 PM) : 

Evil sounds about right!~ Woman! You're trying to give me a heart attack - it just about stopped while looking through those pictures!

 

Blogger Susan said ... (3/18/2007 8:31 PM) : 

My husband was just looking over my shoulder as I clicked on your luscious photos. He said, "I want one of those!" Actually, can we make that two so I don't have to share? ;)

 

Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (3/18/2007 9:11 PM) : 

Well, well, well, and if I wasn't going to have enough trouble choosing and voting for this HHDH...

Tks for making my life miserable, Lis. ;)

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (3/18/2007 9:51 PM) : 

I know there's law against this, I just know there is. I'm going to find it. This just can't be legal. You know that don't you.
Evil genius, MUAHAHAHAAA!! Indeed!
I can't figure how this voting is going to go...

 

Blogger tammy said ... (3/18/2007 10:14 PM) : 

Sweet mother of god, that looks good. I shan't be standing in the way of your evil plots.

 

Blogger Meeta said ... (3/19/2007 2:22 AM) : 

I am with Tanna. There has to be a law against this and against you posting drool dropping photos. It's breakfast time here and I should be packing for a biz trip but instead I am drooling over your cheesecake. Lis, this is gorgeous!

 

Anonymous hester said ... (3/19/2007 7:23 AM) : 

Oooohhhh.... that just looks like the best cheesecake EVER!!!!! I am so sad that I can only look...

 

Blogger Quellia said ... (3/19/2007 7:58 AM) : 

If I liked peanut butter, that would look really good!

 

Anonymous veron said ... (3/19/2007 9:12 AM) : 

OMG, when you say evil , you really mean it don't you Lisa! This cheesecake epitomizes all that is decadent to the nth degree!

 

Blogger Freya and Paul said ... (3/19/2007 10:17 AM) : 

Are you trying to kill us all with such an awesome looking cheesecake???

 

Blogger Acme Instant Food said ... (3/19/2007 12:34 PM) : 

Well I'd certainly eat a slice of this cheesecake, but I think I'd have to politely pass on the broccoli. I hate when those tiny floweret's get unknowingly cemented in the caramel sauce stuck to the front of your tooth. Of course somebody asks at that exact moment if they make take your picture. Big smiles everybody!

 

Blogger Cheryl said ... (3/19/2007 2:21 PM) : 

HOLY MOLY!!

I'm not worthy to be on the same internet as this cheesecake.

Time to put TCF out of business.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (3/19/2007 3:36 PM) : 

I AM EVIL INCARNATE!! WOOO!!

Thanks everyone.. yous make me giggle. =)

Just wanted to let ya'll know, I had 1/2 a slice yesterday (yanno, for proper picture taking?) and the rest of the slice after dinner last night, Hubbs also had 1 slice.. and today I packed it all up and brought half to work and half to my mom.. hehe I can be evil often.. I just can't stay evil sometimes. ;)

Thanks again for all the nice compliments! Ya'll rock =)

 

Anonymous Kristen said ... (3/19/2007 3:49 PM) : 

Holy moly! That is one incredible looking cheesecake. Wow!

 

Blogger Julie said ... (3/19/2007 8:51 PM) : 

Oh, gawd, that is decadent! I have a real sweet tooth, but I think I could only manage a couple of bites...and you did peanut butter--one of my and my hubby's absolute favorite things.

 

Blogger Claire said ... (3/19/2007 9:15 PM) : 

Oh my! This looks SO good! I LOVE peanutbutter. Mmmmm.

 

Blogger Helene said ... (3/19/2007 9:30 PM) : 

I feel the way Ivonne did...I died amny times reading that post...I hope this is what the next world looks like (can't claim I am going to Heaven, and that is Ivonne's fault, the whole blogosphere knows it!)
Who rocks now? YOU!

 

Blogger Elle said ... (3/20/2007 12:13 AM) : 

OMG...decadent, evil, mouthwatering cheesecake. Tooo good.

 

Blogger Kirsten said ... (3/20/2007 2:13 AM) : 

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is truly astonishing. I feel my a** growing as I stare at the pictures.

SOOOOO good!!!

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (3/20/2007 4:13 PM) : 

This kills me- First I love butterfingers- and I think all of your changes are good ones. Especially the chocolate cheecake layer not being too sweet with the pulverized bf. Thanks also for explaining who Donna Hay is.

 

Blogger christine said ... (3/20/2007 9:28 PM) : 

Omigosh! I think I just contracted diabetes AND cavities! Haha. Those have to be the most decadent pictures ever. Peanut butter icing? Oh my my!

 

Blogger Kirsten said ... (3/28/2007 1:25 AM) : 

I VOTED FOR YOU!! :)

Kirsten

 

Blogger Barbara said ... (3/29/2007 11:50 PM) : 

I could sink my whole face into this. Too amazing for words. Thanks for joining HHDD.

 

Blogger Rebecca R. Farnsworth said ... (1/19/2009 10:08 AM) : 

Okay. I know this was posted forever ago, but I just came across it this past Thanksgiving holiday, as I was trying to find a new pie recipe (tradition: I make about 20 pies/year, always adding at least one new one). Anyway, I couldn't find chocolate wafer cookies. Anyone know where to get them or what the packaging would look like? The first time I made this delicious cheesecake, I used a few of those chocolate graham cracker crusts and broke them up and added the butter. The crust certainly left something to be desired...This time, when I made it, I used some oreo type cookies that I found at "gasp" the dollar store. They had a chocolate filling instead of a white one. If you go this route, you'll have to use a blendtec to grind them up if you want to use the filling as part of the crust, and then use only 1/2 the butter. Otherwise, you can just use the cookies and remove the filling, using a bag and a rolling pin to crush them up. I went with the first option, which made almost a brownie-like crust. Which gave me a great idea: next time, I am going to make some fudge brownies ahead of time and let them dry out a bit for a few days and then use THOSE for the crust. Yum!

 

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