For the Crust
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
For the Chocolate Layer
- 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 6 tablespoons real butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
For the Peanut Butter Layer
- 3 packages softened cream cheese, 8 ounce each
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
For the Garnish
- Miniature peanut butter cups, cut in half, optional
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place a cookie sheet or any large pan on the bottom rack of an oven. Fill the pan about half full of water.
To Prepare Crust
- Place the sugar and graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and mix well with a fork. Using your hand, pat the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom and one to two inches up the sides of of 9″ springform pan. Bake for about 5-6 minutes, just long enough to set the crust, and remove from oven. Set aside to cool.
To Prepare Chocolate Layer
- Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture and microwave for an additional 30 seconds if necessary. Stir until smooth and blended.
- Whisk in the sugar, eggs and flour until combined. Pour into the bottom of the cooled crust, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
To Prepare Peanut Butter Layer
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and the brown sugar together on medium speed, until the cream cheese is very creamy and free of all lumps, about two minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk, mixing well until combined. Mix the cream in on low speed. Pour over the cooled chocolate layer in the springform pan.
- Place springform pan on the top rack in the preheated oven. The water bath should be on the bottom rack under it. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cheesecake just barely jiggles in the center when you gently shake the pan.
- Gently run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan to release the crust form the pan. Let the cheesecake set for about 10 minutes and release and remove the ring on the springform pan. Let the cheesecake set until completely cooled.
To Prepare Chocolate Ganache
- Combine the chocolate and cream in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and mix. Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed and stir to blend. Spread the chocolate ganache over the top of the cheesecake.
- Cut miniature peanut butter cups in half and decorate the top.
- Refrigerate overnight before serving.
- Slice the cheesecake using a sharp knife. For neat slices, run the knife under hot water and dry off knife between slices.
- Cheesecake will keep well for up to one week.
Recipe from Paula Deen’s 2010 magazine “Best Dishes.”