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My Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake does what it says on the tin but in a rather decadent and sophisticated way! Not too sweet or too rich, it’s significantly quicker and easier to make than you’d ever imagine! Give this Americana inspired cheesecake a go and I promise it will be a firm favourite forever more!
This is the first in a series of American themed bakes which I devised with the ultimate plan of hosting a baking weekend with a few of my friends.
The choice of bakes was inspired by the American Baking Course at the WI’s Denman College. I wrote all about the Pastry Weekender course which I went on a couple of years ago. The other recipes that I created for the course are:
Italian Meringue Topped Chocolate Lime Pie
Salted Peanut Brittle
Baked Banana, Pecan and Maple Oatmeal
Ham and Cheese Breakfast ‘Casserole’
There are quite a few ingredients listed here but don’t be put off because this baked cheesecake is actually really rather simple to make.
There is no water bath cooking and the filling is an all in one mixture. I make the brownie using only one bowl (being very careful with my ingredient measuring!) and so it is quite light on equipment too. I did use my stand mixer for the filling but only very mild elbow grease is required to mix by hand – aeration is not really required.
The only thing to really bear in mind is that you must have a loose bottomed 9″ pan that is at least 5″ deep. A slightly bigger pan would be fine but will result in thinner layers. You will struggle with a smaller pan – I did!
I have to admit that this Brownie Bottomed Chocolate Peanut Cheesecake is not what I was really intending it to be! I was trying to create a recipe that was over the top, very american, probably too sweet and an absolute offence to dieting. Instead I created a rather sophisticated bake! Its still not exactly low cal mind!
I went “wrong” by using a whole-nut peanut butter rather than an additive filled regular kind. It turns out that they don’t sub each other terribly well! It made quite a difference to the flavour but I loved it! A cheaper, more traditional variety with more sugar and fat will probably result in a rather less delicate affair. Also great!
The brownie base is neither too dark nor too sweet and the sour cream layer on top (which is essentially optional) provides a tangy note. A very happy accident indeed!
I used several different Nigella Lawson recipes as a starting point for the various layers that I wanted to create this recipe. I adapted layers from various other cheesecakes like this Peanut Butter Cheesecake and London Cheesecake and added them to a layer of Nigella Brownies with added peanuts and milk chocolate. Winner winner!
Make Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake into a Feast
You can make anything into a feast! Try combining this Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake with the following recipes to make a x Feast. More blurb….
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- Consider including pictures if applicable.
Link to cornerstone content feast page if possible. Insert additional image of a feast including the dish.
Make any other serving suggestions and consider linking to other external posts if needed.
Ingredients for Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake
There are not too many ingredients needed for this cheesecake which I don’t generally keep in the house anyway. Saying that, I do keep a very well stocked pantry and an extreme amount of eggs on hand at any given moment!
Full fat cream cheese is probably the only thing I’d need to buy specially and that’s only because I keep a stash of reduced fat cream cheese in the fridge. I’d also have to grab some sour cream.
The cream cheese really does need to be full fat I’m afraid. The consistency of the lower fat varieties will do you a disservice and ruin the texture of the cheesecake.
I have provided a recipe for Salted Peanut Brittle but you can easily use a shop bought variety. It is unlikely that a shop bough peanut brittle will be salted so just add a small pinch of sea salt flakes when making the powder.
As I alluded to above, your choice of peanut butter will affect the outcome of your cheesecake. Want a grown-up version? Stick with a whole-nut variety. Want something a little more childhood memory inducing? Use Skippy?!
I have specified smooth peanut butter because I think it gives a better texture but if you are a crunchy kind of person then go for it.
I have taken some of the dark chocolate out of the brownie and replaced it with milk. This gives better balance but if you have one and not the other or a different ration then do go ahead and use that.
The sour cream and peanut brittle toppings are optional but they really do add something to the finished bake so I would encourage you to add them.
Make it Vegetarian
Simply make sure that the cream cheese you are using is vegetarian friendly and you are good to go!
Make it Vegan
Folks. This is another recipe that is so egg and dairy heavy that I don’t feel that right about advising you to vegan-ise it! Whilst ingredients like the cream cheese and chocolate are fairly easily substituted nowadays, the egg effect is harder to deal with.
How about trying….XXXXXXX….instead?
Make it Allergy Friendly
Nut Free: I think it almost goes without saying that this is not a suitable recipe for anyone with a peanut allergy. How about trying my Chocolate Lime Pie instead?
Dairy Free: There is an awful lot of dairy to substitute out here but if you use your usual dairy free items, I think it can be done. You need to make sure that your substitute cream cheese is sufficiently thick and luscious but it should still work. You will also need to use dairy free butter, chocolate and sour cream.
Egg Free: As with my vegan serving suggestion, an egg allergy is going to be very difficult to avoid with this recipe. Why not check out my vegan alternative suggestions above instead?
Gluten Free: Substitute the plain flour in the brownie base for a plain gluten free flour.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake
I am generally a fan of the ‘use whatever baking pan you fancy and it will probably turn out fine’ school of thought. But in this case you really do need to use a pan which is 9″/23cm in diameter and at least 5″/12.5cm deep. A springform tin like this is ideal. A slightly bigger pan would be fine but will result in thinner layers.
My Kenwood Stand Mixer has changed how I bake totally. I use it for nearly everything and if it broke, I’d replace it the same day. But I was 31 when I got one and it is perfectly possible to make this cheesecake without one.
What I have never been without is a cheap electric hand mixer. This can be used in place of the stand mixer.
Another applicable that I wouldn’t want to be without is my Electric Mini Chopper. It is perfect for blitzing small quantities like when making Guacamole or Hummus. It also makes super easy work of grounding up peanut brittle.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
I would plan to make this the day before you plan to eat it as it really does need an overnight in the fridge to cool to set properly and for the flavours to meld.
I would not recommend making it any more than a day in advance. Unfortunately this is one recipe that does not freeze or keep terribly well.
Leftover Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake
This cheesecake will be good to eat for a few days after making but again, it does not freeze well! You’re just going to have to plough though and eat it all I’m afraid!
Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake Tips
I like to melt my butter and chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Remember that just because it doesn’t look melted though the door, it may well be ready. Give it a good mix before giving it more time! Use a small saucepan on a low heat if you prefer or don’t have a microwave.
I like to serve this cheesecake with something a little tangy like creme fraiche.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple – just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page or post a comment at the bottom of this page.
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Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake
Brownie Base Ingredients:
- 125 g Salted Butter
- 75 g Dark Chocolate
- 50 g Milk Chocolate
- 2 Eggs
- 160 g Caster Sugar
- 75 g Plain Flour
- 50 g Chopped Salted Peanuts
- 50 g Dark Chocolate Chips
- 6 Eggs
- 500 g Full Fat Cream Cheese
- 200 g Caster Sugar
- 125 ml Sour Cream
- 250 g Smooth Peanut Butter
- 300 ml Sour Cream
- 6 tsp Caster Sugar
- 0.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 100 g Salted Peanut Brittle
- Preheat the oven to 220c.
- Line a 9″/23cm Springform cake pan with greaseproof paper. It must be a good deep one!
Make the Brownie Base
- Add 125g Butter, 75g Dark Chocolate and 50g Milk Chocolate to a medium mixing bowl and
- Blast in the microwave to melt (or heat over a low flame on the hob in a small saucepan).
- Stir after 1 minute then keep blasting and stirring in 30 second bursts until everything is melted and combined.
- Add 2 Large Eggs and 160g Caster Sugar to the melted chocolate and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Add 75g Plain Flour, 50g Chopped Salted Peanuts and 50g Dark Chocolate Chips and again stir until completely combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 12/15 minutes until just firm in the middle – sadly this isn't the occasion for a super gooey in the middle brownie as the cheesecake will simply collapse but it will continue to cook with the filling.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 170c when you remove the brownie.
Make the Peanut Cheesecake
- Meanwhile, start the cheesecake filling by separating 3 Large Eggs and putting the whites aside for another time.
- Add the 3 egg yolks to a mixing bowl (or stand mixer) and add a further whole 3 Large Eggs, 500g Cream Cheese, 200g Caster Sugar, 125ml Sour Cream and 250g Smooth Peanut Butter.
- Beat the ingredients until smooth and combined.
- Pour the filling mix onto the cooked brownie base and bake for 50 minutes, checking towards the end of the cooking time. The filling wants to be just set in the middle.
- While the filling is cooking, make the topping ready to add later.
Make the Toppings
- Mix 300ml Sour Cream, 6 tsp Caster Sugar and 0.5 tsp Vanilla Extract until combined.
- Once the filling is cooked, add the topping and bake for a further 10/15 minutes.
- Whizz 100g Salted Peanut Brittle up in a little processor or grinder into fine crumbs.
- Once the cheesecake is cool, sprinkle the crumbs all over the top. This step isn’t needed but it covers up the slightly unattractive top, adds a little extra sweet and peanut flavour.
- Leave the cooked cheesecake to cool entirely before serving – ideally overnight.