Peanut Butter Ganache Cheesecake
What is it about peanut butter and chocolate? It’s like they were made for each other. Soulmates. This is the creamiest dreamiest cheesecake you will find. It needs to be made in advance, as do all cheesecakes. I usually make a cheesecake the night before I want it so that it can chill overnight. I assure you though that it’s well worth the wait.
For the Crust:
- 4 1⁄2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
- 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 2 lbs (900g) cream cheese, softened
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz (115g) dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Prepare a springform pan by sealing the bottom well with aluminum foil. This will prevent water from the water bath from penetrating into the cheesecake.
- To Make The Crust: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. In a food processor, blend the Oreo cookies and peanuts until they are crumbled, then add the melted butter and blend for another 30 seconds. Pat the crust mixture onto bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. I usually cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan so that removal will be easier. However, if you don’t want to do this, many people just leave the bottom of the pan under the cheesecake to serve. Place the crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- To Make The Filling: Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, beating well. Add the sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and cream and mix until smooth.
- Pour filling into prepared crust. Place the springform pan into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake for about 1-1/2 hours, or until firm at the edges and still wobbly in the center. Do not overcook!
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour. Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the edges of the pan. This will prevent cracking. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- For The Ganache: When the cheesecake is completely chilled, you can add the ganache layer. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan. Add the chocolate bits and stir constantly until almost melted. Turn the heat off and continue to stir until completely melted. Allow to cool, then spread thinly over the top of the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve with strawberries if desired.