Easy to assemble, this scrumptious crowd-pleaser is as rich as any traditional cheesecake. On a positive note, it serves up to 18 people because you’ll only be able to eat a teeny tiny slice (or three) – but trust me, it will be a slice of all-American heaven.
I think that whoever first came up with the idea of combining chocolate with peanut butter deserves a medal and if you’re a big fan like me, you’ll also love my super-easy wheat and dairy-free recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies – and this luxurious vegan peanut butter chocolate parfait; another dessert that takes almost no time to prepare.
In this recipe, you can substitute Neufchatel (33% less fat) cream cheese for the regular kind but that’s about as far as the calorie counting goes. This is a very special occasion cake that will be talked about long after the last slice has put a smile on someone’s face.
If you’re in the UK and can’t buy the equivalent of chocolate graham cracker cookies, use good old digestive biccies and add some organic unsweetened cocoa powder to darken the crumbs and give it the necessary chocolate flavor. Or get creative with any dry chocolate cookie (nothing cream filled or chocolate-dipped).
I like to sprinkle the topping with some praline crumbs or shaved chocolate, neither of which are necessary as this cake is devastatingly good with the topping left unadorned. To cut the cake, make sure it’s well chilled and use a very sharp knife.
Finally; as a confirmed chocoholic I make no apologies for the fact that I’m posting yet another chocolatey dessert – and if you have any left, it will freeze well.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE CAKE
(Serves up to 18)
9 oz (256g) of chocolate graham crackers
1/3 cup (80ml measure) of fine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of dark unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
5 oz (142g) of unsalted butter
18 oz (512g) of smooth peanut butter
1 lb (455g) of cream cheese or Neufchatel (reduced fat) cream cheese at room temp
2 cups (480ml measure) of powdered (icing) sugar
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
2 cups (480ml) of whipping cream
½ cup (120ml) of whipping cream
¼ cup (60ml measure) of granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons of espresso or strong black coffee
6 oz (170g) of best quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325F (160C)
In a food processor, grind the cookies, sugar and cocoa powder to fine crumbs. Melt the butter and pour onto the crumbs, pulsing on/off until thoroughly combined.
Press the cookie crumbs up the sides and onto the base of a 10 inch (255mm) spring-form cake pan and bake until the crust is slightly darker, approx 15 mins. Set aside to cool.
For the filling; using an electric mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese and peanut butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until completely blended.
In a separate bowl whisk the 2 cups of cream until it forms peaks – using a large metal spoon, fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in 4 or five batches. Spoon the filling into the cooled crust.
For the topping; combine the remaining ½ cup of cream, ¼ cup of sugar and espresso in a small heavy pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Take off the heat and immediately add the chocolate chips, whisking gently until they’re melted. Cool the topping for 5 minutes then pour it over the filling, spreading evenly with a palette knife.
Sprinkle your preferred topping over the warm chocolate or leave it plain. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours then cover it and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. The cake should be well chilled for serving.