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.
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. =)
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
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)
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 350º 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.