Friday, May 17, 2013

Peanut Butter and Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust and Chocolate Whipped Cream

Honestly, who doesn't like peanut  butter? I guess those people probably exist in the world, but, you have to wonder, can they really be trusted? (just kidding peanut butter haters ;)) In all seriousness though, if you love peanut butter...TRY THIS RECIPE. If you  don't (<1% of the population, I bet), obviously, this is not the recipe for you. I mean, posting the photo online alone, had my mom calling me wondering why she hadn't gotten one to try yet. And you don't want to upset an Italian woman when it comes to desserts. That is some serious fury.

This all started with another birthday present (gotta love birthdays)- a mini cheesecake pan!  I was very excited to try a recipe I found on The Korean American Mommy. I just added chocolate whipped cream on top to add another layer of flavor. 

Let's get to the good stuff:
Place the bottoms into the mini cheesecake pan. Grease the pan. Then make up your pretzel crust and gently press it so it covers the bottom and 1/3 of the way up the sides. I didn't put that much crust in all of the cups, and afterwards, I felt that I really should have. It seemed like the ones with a little more crust were able to come out of the pan easier.

Mix the batter together and spoon it into the cups. You can fill them almost all the way full. I filled mine about 80% full and could have even gone higher. Since I didn't fill them as high, I wound up with 12 mini cheesecakes from the pan and then had enough extra to make two 4 inch little cheesecakes in mini springform pans.

The not-as-mini mini cheesecake

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes (I baked the larger ones for 25-30 minutes) and then let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, cover and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

And what goes good with peanut butter? Chocolate, of course. So I made some chocolate whipped cream to put on top and sprinkled them with some extra pretzel crumbs. Delicious!

Oh, and before I forget! The original post said that she had some leaking from her mini cheesecake pan so she placed a baking sheet underneath...I didn't even bother testing it without the pan underneath and it worked out great! There didn't seem to be any drippings onto the baking sheet, but better safe than sorry!

Hubby wouldn't try these ones, because he hates cream cheese (*gasp*). It really is a sin (perhaps on par with peanut butter haters?), and he misses out on many of my delicious baked goods because of this, but it was definitely a hit with everyone else who tasted them!

Peanut Butter and Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust and Chocolate Whipped Cream
{cheesecake recipe from Korean American Mommy}
Makes about 12 mini cheesecakes

For the cheesecake:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 oz créme fraîche
  • 1 cup sugar, divided (half is for crust)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 cups pretzel crumbs (crust)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (crust)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine pretzel crumbs, melted butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir until well blended.
  3. Follow the instructions on your mini cheesecake pan and place the removable discs into the bottom of the pan. Grease each individual form. Place about 2 teaspoons of the pretzel mixture into each of the forms and gently press down with a spoon. The crust should cover the bottom and about 1/3 of the way up the sides. 
  4. Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, créme fraîche, and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, and peanut butter and continue to beat until smooth.
  5. Spoon the cheesecake batter into the forms. They should be filled almost to the top (about 90% full). Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Remove cheesecakes (carefully) from the pans by pushing up the bottoms of each cheesecake form.
 For the chocolate whipped cream:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (if not serving immediately)
  • 1  teaspoon water (if not serving immediately)

Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until cream is whipped. Using an electric mixer, or stand mixer with whisk attachment, gradually beat cream together with the chocolate mixture until soft peaks form. If not serving immediately (this will keep the whipped cream from getting liquidy), dissolve gelatin in water by placing in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Allow to cool slightly, then add to cream mixture and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

After cheesecakes have been refrigerated and removed from pan, frost with whipped cream and garnish with extra pretzel crumbs, if desired.

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