Thursday, December 12, 2013

♥ White Chocolate Cheesecake w/ Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Here is another cheesecake I made for you this past weekend. If you look closely at the one I posted yesterday and now this one, you will see that I actually used the same basic cheesecake filling for the recipe and just added different toppings. Never be afraid to make cheesecakes...they are so easy to make and you can be as creative as you like in changing them up with all kinds of additions. This one my friends is the most popular cake I make for friends and family. Why? Because it's chocolate and peanut butter!  Need I say more? 

White Chocolate Cheesecake w/ Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

10 ounces graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Ghirardelli or any premium white chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
boiling water

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the side of a 10 inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees while crust is cooling and you make your batter. Place the chopped white chocolate into a heat safe bowl and set aside. Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate, and allow to stand for one minute. Stir the chocolate gently until melted completely.

In your mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Add the sugar and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. On medium speed, slowly add the white chocolate mixture. Once combined you can add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until each egg is incorporated. Once you've added all the eggs, mix in the vanilla and salt and pour into your prepared crust that has cooled in your spring form pan.

Set the pan onto a couple of heavy duty, large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan to waterproof. Set the cheesecake into a large roasting pan and then place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, filling to about one inch. Bake at only 325 for the first hour and then reduce heat again down to only 300 degrees and bake for another hour or so or until the center is just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool chill for at least 2 hours before adding topping.

Chocolate Ganache and Peanut Butter Cup topping

1 cup chocolate chips (use dark chocolate or milk chocolate)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped
Hershey's caramel ice cream topping

Add water to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Place a heatproof glass bowl over the pot and add the chocolate and heavy cream. Slowly stir with a spoon until the chocolate has melted, careful not to incorporate too much air. Once melted, remove from heat. Pour chocolate ganache over cheese cake and allow to drip down sides. Top with chopped peanut butter cups. Drizzle caramel ice cream topping over the top.

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