In the words of another great British cook, Delia Smith, ‘I love Nigella Lawson’s writing and I love her recipes.’ Nigella writes books as if she is talking to you, standing in the kitchen with you, and as a result, her recipes are pretty much fail-safe. In all my years of cooking a huge number of her recipes, only one did not turn out, and that was because I took a (very unwise) shortcut. So when Nigella’s newest book ‘Kitchen’ hit the shelves, I got a copy the very first day it was available. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is one of the recipes from it, also shown as part of the new television series she is doing Thursday nights on the BBC, Nigella Kitchen.
I hesitate to admit this, but this is the first time I have made a baked cheesecake. I was a bit nervous about it to be honest, more a fear of the unknown than anything else, but the temptation of chocolate and peanut butter - in Nigella’s own words a “Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in cheesecake form” - was too much to resist. And in the end, it was actually very easy.
You do virtually everything in a food processor, first blitzing together the digestive biscuits (graham crackers would probably work here too), salted peanuts, dark chocolate and butter. I was very tempted to eat this mixture with a spoon, just as it was.
Once this mixture is pressed into a springform pan and popped in the fridge, you just wipe out the processor and mix up the filling ingredients, which include lots of yummy peanut butter and cream cheese. It’s not as pretty as the crust ingredients, but it sure smelled good.
Then you just pour the filling into the crust and bake for about 50 minutes.
Nigella recommends you check after forty minutes, but mine cooked really fast (ovens vary so radically), I would say to check after thirty minutes as mine was verging on well done in forty. The fact it was a little brown didn’t matter one bit though as you then cover it in a glorious glossy mixture of chocolate, sour cream and brown sugar melted together in a saucepan.
After ten more minutes in the oven, it comes out looking gorgeous. And after cooling and several hours in the fridge (the recipe recommends overnight chilling, but I was too impatient), you can then remove it from the pan.
It is utterly heavenly. I got rave reviews from everyone who tasted it too. Plus, it is so voluptuously rich that I honestly think you could serve at least twelve from it. My first baked cheesecake was a wholly successful experiment, thanks to a great recipe from the original domestic goddess.
For the recipe, please click here to go to the BBC website.