I’m here, I’m alive, I’ve survived another year! Go me! I know it’s been awhile since we’ve seen each other, but it’s been a busy year so it’s been hard to find time to sit down and blog. But, I’M BACK KIDS! It’s my birthday gift to me (and you)! For those of you who have been around awhile, you may be aware that every year I make my own birthday cake. This year was no exception. Previous birthdays included:
When I saw this cheesecake over on Smitten Kitchen, I just knew I needed to make it for my birthday. With layers of chocolate cookie crust, rich chocolate fudge, and creamy peanut butter cheesecake, all topped off with a chocolate ganache.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake
For the crust
- 9 oz (1 package) Nabisco chocolate wafers
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the fudge
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 13 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
For the cheesecake
- 2 8-oz packages full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the ganache
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
Prepare the pan
- Cover the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with two layers of aluminum foil.
For the crust
- Finely crush wafers in a food processor until they make fine crumbs. Add chocolate chips and brown sugar a pulse to combine. Add butter and continue pulsing until thoroughly moistened. (If you don't have a food processor, you can crush the cookies in a heavy duty ziploc bag using a rolling pin, then pour into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients).
- Transfer the crumbs to the springform pan and press them up the sides of the pan almost to the top (within a half inch) and into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Place in refrigerator to chill while you make the fudge.
Make the fudge
- Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and peanut butter, whisking until smooth. Pour into pan and spread into an even layer. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, until firm.
Make the cheesecake
- Preheat the oven to 325°F
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Scrape down the sides and add the sour cream, beating to combine.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
- Add vanilla and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom to ensure everything is evenly mixed. Pour cheesecake over the fudge layer.
Bake in a water bath
- Place foil-wrapped springform pan into a roasting pan large enough to hold it.
- Fill the pan with enough hot water to come 1 inch up the side of the springform pan and transfer very carefully to the oven.
- If you don't want to use a water bath, you can bake it without a water bath as well, but the water bath is more gentle. To bake without a water bath, simply place your springform pan onto a baking sheet in the oven. (The baking sheet will make it easier to remove when the cheesecake is done).
- Bake the cheesecake for 75 to 90 minutes until the cake is mostly firm but will still jiggle a bit in the middle when poked. If you like to be more scientific, the center of the cheesecake should reach about 150-155°F on an instant read thermometer. The top will be a light golden brown.
- When done, allow to cool about 30 minutes on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator for at 3 hours (or longer).
Make the ganache
- Heat cream in a small saucepan until simmering.
- Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and peanut butter, whisking until smooth and shiny.
- Pour onto the cheesecake and spread evenly across the top of the cheesecake.
- Return cheesecake to fridge for at least 30 minutes, until the ganache has set.
Serve the cheesecake
- Run a small offset spatula or butter knife around the outside of the cake to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan. Unhinge the sides to remove the bottom piece containing the cheesecake.
- To cut the cheesecake, run a sharp knife under hot water and wipe with a warm damp cloth. Cut into thin slices, pressing firmly at the bottom to ensure you cut through the crust layer at the bottom, wiping the knife as needed.
[ Recipe from Smitten Kitchen ]
This month’s Baked Occasionally is brought to you by the August chapter and was chosen by Mrs. Table. Just like this wonderful summer month this cake is sweet and fill to the top with fruit. Not to be confused with a blueberry coffee cake, the buckle is… well, to be honest I’m not quite sure why it’s not a coffee cake. But it’s not.
Cake batter? Check. Berries? Check. Stresuel? Check! Delicious in the morning and even more delicious alongside coffee? Double check. But no, definitely not a coffee cake.
She may not look like much but what she lacks in presentation she makes up for in flavor. Baked’s blueberry buckle is a sweet, tender cake bursting with blueberries and topped with a sweet, crunchy streusel topping. It’s perfect for breakfast or dessert, or an afternoon snack.
What I liked:
Everything – it was delicious!
What I didn’t:
As per usual, the Baked recipe called for a special tube pan (which my frugal self has yet to purchase). While not nearly as gorgeous as Shannon’s tube pan cake, I did learn that it would fit perfectly into a 10 inch round cake pan. Of course, it will affect your baking time. I ended up using a 10 inch spring form pan so that I could still have the removable bottom feature.
I also threw a little batter into some muffin tins because everything is better in mini form.
You can see Shannon’s post over at A Periodic Table, or pick up the Baked Occasions book and bake along with us next month!
nonnie's blueberry buckle
For the Blueberry Cake
- 1½ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups (170 g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) canola oil
- 2 ounces (½ stick/55 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- ½ cup (115 g) sour cream
- 4 cups (14 ounces/395 g) fresh blueberries
For the Streusel
- ¾ cup (165 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1?3 cup (40 g) all purpose flour
- 1?3 cup (40 g) cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 ounces (¾ stick/85 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare a 10-cup tube pan or a 10 inch round springform cake pan by lining with parchment and spraying with nonstick cooking spray. (Or butter the pan and dust it with flour, knocking out the excess flour)).
- In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, salt, ginger, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and sour cream and whisk until combined; set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl,
- Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest, and beat for another 10 seconds
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in the standing mixer in three parts, alternating with the cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (flour-cream-flour-cream-flour). Beat at medium speed after each addition until incorporated, about 10 to 15 seconds each.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter. The batter will be very thick.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Make the Streusel
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flours, and cinnamon until combined (lumps are okay).
- Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and combine until the sugar mixture is thoroughly moistened. You can do this with your hands, a fork, or a spatula.
- Pinch off chunks of the topping and drop them over the top of the buckle batter. Use all of the topping and cover the batter completely.
- Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, 50 to 60 minutes. (Note: Baking time for muffin size was between 15 to 20 minutes)
- Set the cake pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a paring knife, then push the bottom of the pan up (If using a removable bottom) to release the cake. Use the knife to loosen and remove the cake from the bottom of the pan, then cool completely, topping side up, on a cooling rack.
* If you don't have a tube pan, feel free to use a 10 inch round cake pan or spring form pan. Preferably something with a removable bottom.
* Portion into muffin tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes for bite sized treats.
* If the streusel topping browns too much while cooking, just cover it with some foil while the cake continues to bake.
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It’s the first Monday of the month, and you know what that means! Time for another #BakedOccasionally, when my good friend Shannon from A Periodic Table and I team up to make something delicious from the latest book from New York’s Baked bakery – Baked Occasions. Continue reading
It’s become a tradition around here where every year I bake my own birthday cake. It’s my gift to myself every year that I challenge myself a little bit to come up with a recipe and execute it.
It started with the chocolate peanut butter cake, from there I moved on to fluffernutter cake, sweet & salty cake, and then the Momofuku themes with confetti cake, and last year’s chocolate chip cake. This year I fulfilled my childhood dream with my very own peanut butter and jelly cake. Continue reading
It’s official! Mr. Eats and I have officially survived our first year of marriage and, as far as I can tell, neither of us has murdered the other yet! Go us! In fact, I could even say that I like him more now than ever, but don’t tell him that. I don’t want him to get a big ego. Continue reading