Monday, January 25, 2010

PB&J Cheesecake

Another lab birthday and luckily this person likes cheesecake. It was nice to take a departure from the standard two-layer cake to make this rich, creamy cheesecake.

PB&J Cheesecake
Makes 10 servings

1.75 cup Nilla wafer crumbs
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
24oz cream cheese, softened
1.5 cups brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg yolk
3 eggs
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
12oz strawberry jam
1 pint strawberries, sliced (plus one whole for decoration, if desired)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl. Press the mixture in the bottom and one inch up the sides of a 10" springform pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes; cool. Above is what the crust must feel like from the inside of the pan.

Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar, then the peanut butter and egg yolk and whole eggs, beating well after adding each ingredient. While beating on low speed, add cream. Pour half of this mixture into the cooled crust (see above).

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt strawberry jam. Heat on high for about 3 minutes, stirring after 30 second bursts. Jam should be very smooth. Slowly drizzle all of the jam over the PB batter.

Swirl the layers with a knife. Pour on remaining batter.

Bake cheesecake for 75 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Gently run a knife around the edge of the cake and release the side. Cover cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

I arranged the sliced strawberries in concentric overlapping circles. When you're slicing the strawberries, you can reserve some of the smaller slices for the innermost circle. In the middle, I also cut a berry part of the way through to fan it out. The result is a cheesecake that wowed everyone. It enchants you with it's beautiful looks (like a red and white flower) but the real test is the taste. The peanut butter is only a small portion of the batter, but the end result was amazingly peanut buttery. You could taste some of the strawberry, but the main character in this show was PB. The berries add a different texture and a nice fresh contrast to the cheesecake. And it is also worth mentioning that this is the creamiest cheesecake I've ever made. Often, cheesecake can end up fluffy or a little dry. This one was just like they make in NYC. I would make this cheesecake again in a heartbeat, though I should probably wait a few weeks for my body to deal with the overall richness of this dessert.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Sounds spectacular, definitely something I'd like.