I love reading.
Maybe because my mom never got cable television, so I could only watch Lamb Chops and Jeopardy at my oma’s house; or maybe because I didn’t have any siblings and I think my imaginary friend got murdered fairly early on (I was, and still am, a big Agatha Christie fan); or maybe because my mom also reads a lot, and she used to take me to the library where I’d join the kids summer reading club and get stickers (if you’ve been following, you know how I feel about stickers) for every book I read. So basically it’s my mom’s fault.
As a kid, I speed-read my way though the Sweet Valley series (I never saw the TV show, but I did own the boardgame), as many Agatha Christie books I could get my hands on, and then pretty much anything in general I could get my hands on. I’ve also read the Lord of the Rings series (twice) and all the Game of Thrones books (I did see the TV series this time), which I feel should give me some serious nerd cred (in case a degree in engineering wasn’t enough), but the only person who seems to appreciate this is the manfriend’s brother.
The invention of e-readers makes me very happy, because it means I no longer need to take a second suitcase solely for books when I travel. And although I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with all that Apple price-fixing business, I would really appreciate it if I could actually use the promo codes Kobo sends me on anything. I’m not sure what the purpose of that little aside was, but I’ve had three cups of coffee today, resulting in a very disjointed post, so bear with me (or just scroll down to the recipe now).
Anyway. I was heading to Portland a few weeks ago, and was looking for a new book to read on the plane, and I came across this girl on Goodreads, and I thought her reviews were so fantastically written that I stopped scanning books and just started reading her comments instead, without knowing what the books were actually about. I ended up with a rather large list of books I now want to pick up (and if you have a favorite I should read, let me know in the comments!) but I’ve just finished Gone Girl and I think I now have end-of-amazing-novel-induced depression.
All that has nothing to do with peanut butter cheesecake, but I did warn you that this was a disjointed post.
If you’d really like a connection to be made, this cheesecake is delicious served messily in a bowl, to be eaten while curled up with a good book. Or to help you recover from the afore-mentioned end-of-book depression, where you feel like you’ve had a break up and don’t want to rebound just yet. Just stay home in your socks and eat this cheesecake.
It’s the simple things in life.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
10g cocoa powder
150g all-purpose flour
45g light brown sugar
55g berry sugar
110g butter, melted
250g cream cheese
200g smooth peanut butter
one teaspoon vanilla
135g light brown sugar
half cup whipping cream (not whipped)
240g sour cream
three quarters cup whipping cream (not whipped)
55g berry sugar
Additional peanuts, demerara sugar and chocolate sauce as desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all crust ingredients together, and press into the bottom of a pan (I used an 8″ springform pan and two 4″ tart pans). If you’re using a springform pan I suggest lining it with parchment paper first. Bake for 15 minutes, and set aside to cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use an electric mixer, but I don’t suggest making cheesecake by hand unless you want blisters from a wooden spoon – I speak from experience – and arms like Popeye – I managed to avoid these) combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and ricotta and mix on low until smooth. Add in the vanilla and sugar, and keep mixing. Add eggs one at a time, making sure they’re well combined. Fold in the cream by hand.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into your semi-cooled crusts, and bake until the edges are starting to brown and the centre is just barely set. The amount of time will depend on the size of pan you use, but it feels like it takes forever. Once it’s out of the oven, let it cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes, and then throw it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
To prepare the topping, whip (again I strongly suggest a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or an electric mixer) the whipping cream, sour cream and sugar until it forms soft peaks. Heap it all over the cheesecake to cover up the crack marks that are apparently cheesecake-faux-pas (but they don’t take away from the taste at all, so they don’t bother me too much), and sprinkle with peanuts, demerara sugar (coconut sugar also works nicely) and chocolate sauce as desired. Enjoy!