Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

Peanut Butter Brownie Chunk Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Where do you find inspiration? Sometimes it’s just sitting there waiting for you to see it. I wanted to make a new cheesecake and was trying to come up with ideas for ideas, after the mango-saffron I was having trouble coming up with ideas. Standing at my baking island, I opened the spice drawer and there it was a jar of peanut butter – inspiration – First thought: ‘Oooh that would be tasty’… 2nd thought: ‘What the hell would I use as a crust?’ I immediately thought of par-baking brownies in the spring-form pan, and then remembered the difficulty of cutting through the shortbread base and decided I would bake the brownies and chunk them instead. This was an immediate hit with family and friends and is tied with the Orange Creamsicle cheesecake as everyone’s favorite.

Peanut Butter Brownie Chunk Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

1 package Duncan Hines family size brownies. (double chocolate is the one I used; I think)
CHANGE AS FOLLOWS instead of oil use 5 1/3 tablespoons melted butter
Only use 1 egg
for firmer brownies bake as directed in an 13×9 inch pan
for gooier brownies bake in 8 1/2 x 11 pan for about 35 minutes toothpick should be almost clean but not quite.
Allow to cool completely and then cut into 1/2 inch cubes and place in bottom of spring form pan layered about 3 deep. You’ll have about 1/4 of the brownies left over for snacking.

3 8oz packages Philly cream cheese at room temp.
3 eggs at room temp.
3/4 cup plus a little more sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place one rack on lowest position and put a pan of hot water on this rack.

Place 2nd rack on middle position then preheat oven to 275F

Get all ingredients open and ready to use

In a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl (if you only have a hand mixer) put one package of cream cheese, 1/3 of sugar, sour cream and peanut butter and beat with whisk attachment until smooth repeat with remaining ingredients (EXCEPT the eggs and vanilla). when you have all of this smooth add the vanilla and then add one egg at a time allowing each to mix in thoroughly.

Pour into spring-form pan, place pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes

Allow to cool completely, loosen sides with spatula, then refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Chocolate Ganache
1cup Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Put all ingredients into a bowl and heat over a pan of water stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Pour over top of cheesecake and chill at least 10 minutes.