Monday, May 5, 2008

"BETTER THAN SEX" Cheesecake

For Sarah's Birthday I came up with a new Cheesecake recipe to make sure it was gluten-Free. The cheesecake filling is easy to transfer to a gluten free cake, its the crust that is the kicker. So I came up with an idea. Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies!! Two days ahead, I made the cookies, and then 24 hours ahead of the party I crumbled them for the crust. Lined them in the base of a spring form pan and TA-DA: gluten free crust!! However...I didn't want this yummy cheesecake to not blend with this peanut butter crust: So I did a chocolate Swirl cheesecake (what's better then chocolate and Peanut Butter right?) and topped it with chopped Reese's Peanut butter cups with a homemade chocolate caramel Sauce. FANTASTIC!! Very rich so the cake will go really far because you can only eat so much at a want to make the pieces VERY VERY SMALL!! Here's How I did it and I hope you enjoy it!!
SARAH'S Special Cheesecake (or as she calls it BETTER THAN SEX CHEESECAKE)
Crust: See Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
2 1/2 lbs softened cream cheese (5 blocks-leave at room temp for thirty minutes to soften)
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 tbs all-purpose flour (I used a special gluten free blend that sarah makes but any gluten free flour should work such as Red Mill or Almond flour would be really good).
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or sour cream but I used the whipping cream since I needed that for the sauce as well).
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp grated Orange peel
1/4 tsp vanilla

Chocolate filling:
14 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white sugar

5-6 Large Reese's Peanut Butter cups (use this brand for gluten-free) CHOPPED
TIP: Freeze PB cups for thirty minutes before cutting so they are very firm. Use a very sharp knife and to gently chop them up..if you use an electric chopper or hand chopper it will destroy the cups and you want the pieces to have shape.
See below for SAUCE recipe and directions.

Directions: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Use the paddle attachment for the KAMixer at this point to beat the sugar and cream cheese. Add flour, eggs (I prefer to do the eggs one at a time),vanilla and citrus peels. Switch your KA to the whisk attachment and whisk briskly to remove all clumps and get a nice fluffy consistency. Add your heavy cream and just mix until its blended in. DO NOT OVER MIX with the cream in there. If you do not have a KAMixer, you a hand mixer and look for a nice thick no clump consistency but it will not have a whipped look..will still work perfectly though. Pour half of this mixture into pan, gently spreading over PB crust. In the microwave, heat choco chips and sugar together in glass container (DO NOT USE PLASTIC) for 2 minutes. (chips will still appear to be in original form you don't want to overmelt them). Pour Chocolate chips (they will turn to thick melt chocolate as you scrape them out) into left over batter and mix until blended. You are looking for a nice chocolate mousse appearance (or with hand mixer a thick chocolate pudding type appearance). Gently pour chocolate mixture in spring form pan. You can take a knife or fork to gently swirl the two layers together or score the two layers or leave them stacked. Appearance is up to you!
Place cake in oven on top rack with a casserole dish full of water on bottom rack. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and continue to bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and Leave cake in there for FOUR HOURS to cool and set. Place cake in Refridgerator for atleast 8 hours to finish setting. The water bath and long cool times (to reduce quick changes in temperature) will keep your cake from cracking! An hour or two before you need to serve the cake, top with the PB cups and Sauce. Chill another one to two hours before serving!!

Chocolate Caramel Sauce
4 tbs sugar
6 tbs heavy cream
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped or in small chuncks
1/8 tsp vanilla

Directions: Cook sugar in a very small dry heavy sauce pan or skillet over moderately high heat, undisturbed, untl sugar begins to melt. (about 1-2 minutes). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted into a medium/deep golden caramel (abotu 2 minutes). Remove Caramel from heat and carefully pour in cream (mixture will steam and bubble vigorously). Once bubbles begin to subside, add chocolate and stir until sauce is smooth. Stir in vanilla and let cool for just a minute or two so it won't melt your cake and PBcups too much!

This sauce is not the easiest thing in the world. I'm a pretty good cook/baker and I had some problems with this sauce. It took me a few tries to get it right and even then I ended up with this hard clot around the fork. If you mess up, you will know when you add the cream so you won't waste the chocolate..just grab another pan and try again. Soaking in warm water cleans the pans and forks easily so don't worry about it. TIP: WATCH it like a HAWK. Making this sauce was the fastest four minutes of my life!!

Notes: The cheesecake filling is for a NY style cheesecake so you can leave the citrus out of it if you are adding chocolate if you choose. I like it in there for that extra zest! Also, because this is for a NY style cheesecake 10-12 inch, you will have leftover batter if you add the chocolate. So I made a 10 inch cheesecake and a five inch cheesecake and just baked them together!

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