Sunday 24 October 2010

Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake

For my birthday on Wednesday I was tempted to make a pretty fondant decorated cake, but flicking through the cookbook of the month 'Kitchen' one night while watching TV, this recipe and Nigella's preface to it caught my eye. The fact that it also contains 250g peanut butter also caught my eye! How naughty. How very very naughty...

Some of Nigella's words used to describe this cake will give you a pretty good picture of what this cake is all about:
"overindulgent vulgarity", "unashamed indulgence", "pleasureable, palate-cleaving clagginess"

Get the idea? ;)

Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake
Adapted recipe from 'Kicthen' by Nigella Lawson
For the base:
200g digestive biscuits
50g salted peanuts
100g dark chocolate chips
50g soft unsalted butter

For the filling:
500g cream cheese
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
125ml sour cream
250g smooth peanut butter

For the topping:
250ml sour cream
100g milk chocolate chips
30g soft brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius then process the biscuits, peanuts, dark chocolate chips and butter for the base in a food processor. Once it comes together in a clump, turn it out into a lightly greased 23cm springform tin and press into the bottom. Put in the fridge while you make the filling.

2. Process the filling in the cleaned or wiped-out food processor bowl, putting in the cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, sour cream and peanut butter and whizzing to a smooth mixture.

3. Pour and scrape the filling into the base in the chilled springform tin and cook for 1 hour, though check after 50 minutes. The top only should feel set and dry.

4. Take the cheesecake out of the oven while you make the topping. Warm the sour cream and chocolate with the brown sugar gently in a small saucepan over a low heat, whisking to blend in the chocolate as it melts, and then take off the heat.

5. Spoon and spread the topping very gently over the top of the cheesecake, being as careful as you can in case you break the surface of the cheesecake. No big deal if you do though, you'll just end up with more of a marbled effect. Put it back in the oven for a final 10 minutes.

6. Once out of the oven, let the cheesecake cool in its tin and then cover and put into the fridge overnight. When you are ready to cut the cheesecake, take it out of the fridge, just to take the chill off: this will make it easier to spring from the tin.

The Verdict
If you are a die-hard peanut butter fan, this cheesecake would be right up your alley! Whilst I do like peanut butter, I did find this cheesecake a bit too much, and a little underwhelming taste wise.. I love the idea behind it - chocolate and peanut butter make a killer combination, but to be honest I'm just not 100% convinced that it's worth all the calories that are required to make it.

I was also a bit surprised by the fact that Nigella's recipe and the accompanying picture in the book don't match. Allow me to explain ... the recipe asks for the base to be pressed into the base and sides of the tin (as I did). However, after doing this with some difficulty (as there really isn't enough mixture to do it) and reaching the stage of putting the cake into the oven, I turned the page to see a picture of the cake with only the crust on the bottom of the cake. It is for this reason that I have adapted the recipe in this post, as this is the way I would do it next time. Although... it will be some time before I tackle this cheesecake again - it is certainly not for the faint hearted (or heart conscious!).

Ladybird x


  1. Hey! A very happy (although belated) birthday! It's too bad the cake didn't meet your expectations although seeing your other creations I can tell you have really high standards!

  2. That's so disappointing for you. Did you use salted peanut butter? maybe that's the key?

  3. dudddeeee happy birthday for last week! that pb cheesecake looks awesome i looove pb!

  4. Yum! It might not taste as nice as you wanted it to but it looks delicious!!

  5. This is amazing...i'm drooling....

  6. Chocolate and peanut butter is definitely a winning combination. But chocolate, PB and cheesecake?! wowww :P It looks super smooth and silky

    Happy belated birthday!

  7. Thank you for your birthday wishes! :)

    Hi InTolerant Chef - yes it was a salted smooth peanut butter.

  8. Oh belated happy birthday to you!
    I must admit I am not a huge fan of peanut butter but pair it with other ingredients in desserts (like chocolate) and I don't mind it at all. Shame that it didn't turn out as great as you had hoped. Looks awesome though.

  9. The idea certainly catches ones eye! ... I mean chocolate = winner, peanut butter = winner, cheesecake = winner therefore one would assume put them together and you get a DEFINITE Winner! ... unfortunate that the taste was a little underwhelming tho... on the upside looks great! Happy Belated Birthday Anna x

  10. I love Peanut Butter and Chocolate and your cheesecake looks great but I'm going to rely on your verdict with this one.

  11. I love the smooth creamy texture...very nice

  12. Happy birthday Lady Bird! WoW! that cake looks to die for. As you suggested, my heart would not thank me! hahaha

    I need to get back into cooking. I have been so slack of late and really want to make a few things from Kitchen myself.


  13. Nigella's recipes do tend to be on the indulgent side, but birthdays are meant for indulging! Hope you had a good one! :D

  14. so then the cake looks better than it tastes? just looking at it makes me wanna take a bite! the batter looks sooo smooth...but yea, hope it didn't cause too much artery clogging and that you got to share it around!
    happy bday girl!

  15. Looks soooo Rich, but will recommend to peanut butter loving friend!

  16. Happy Birthday!! This cake sounds so rich, I love the idea of chocolate and peanut butter too, but I don't think I could handle too much!

  17. Thanks for all of your birthday wishes, lovelies! Hopefully I'll get to squeeze in another one or two Nigella recipes as part of Cookbook of the Month before the end of the October :)

  18. Woah- saw Nigella make that a couple of weeks ago (the series is playing here in London) and was pretty gobsmacked by it. "to be honest I'm just not 100% convinced that it's worth all the calories that are required to make it." Very grateful that someone else did the hard yards to see what it was like- Thanks!

  19. Damn, I agree you'd want it to be pretty special to warrant the calorie overload so it's a bit of a rip-off that it's not :(

    You know what though? Birthdays are entirely calorie-free so it really doesn't matter anyway! Happy birthday :)

  20. Happy Belated Birthday! This peanut-chocolate cheese cake looks decadent and amazing! your pics are SOOOO tempting!

  21. Yep, if this is going to be up anyone's alley, it needs to be up mine. Oh lord. Peanut butter. And cheesecake. One of the things I love most in this world, put into the format of the treat I've been craving for weeks but have been avoiding because of my lactose intolerance.

    Resistance.... crumbling...


  22. Chocolate AND Peanut Butter...., seriously yummy, great combination for a cheesecake. This one looks amazing.

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