This month it was my brother's 40th birthday, so of course a cake had to be made! I was wondering for a while what sort of cake I should make, I normally do a big fondant affair but rather than just making a cake that looked nice I thought I'd make him one that I knew he'd love to stuff his face with as well! My brother is the only human being I have ever seen consume a cheesecake in about four mouthfulls, and I'm not even making that up, it's quite true. So a cheesecake it simply had to be.
It of course couldn't be a thin cheesecake piled high with fresh fruit, no no. It could only be a huge cheesecake piled high with peanuts, Snickers bars and caramel sauce. I found a great recipe which I couldn't resist trying, I've made a baked cheesecake before where the bars were baked actually in the cake, and it was in a word, amazing. But this time I decided to go down the plain cheesecake route and put all the glorious calories on top instead.
I don't often make baked cheesecakes as looking out for the 'wobble' and not over-baking it gives me the fear, and as this one was especially deep I really wanted it to be brilliant. The only thing I didn't make was the caramel sauce, I just didn't have time. But I have made it in the past and it has been gorgeous so if have the time I'd still say do it.
- 2 cups chocolate digestive crumbs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter; melted
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 bars of cream cheese (8 oz each), room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup double cream
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4/5 Snickers bars; cut up into small pieces
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts; halved or chopped1/2 cup caramel syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 C. Prepare either a 9-inch springform pan by greasing them liberally with cooking spray or butter. In a separate bowl, stir together the crust ingredients until evenly mixed. Then press into the bottom of your pan, either just on the bottom or also about 1" up onto the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.
Begin to boil a large kettle or pot of water for the water bath. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar and cream cheese and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix until smooth. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Once your kettle or pot of water is boiling, carefully place a large baking dish on the lower rack of your oven and pull the rack out a few inches towards you, and then pour the water into it. (Or use your best judgment on how to do this without burning yourself. I just heat the water in a kettle, which is very easy to pour into the pan.) This will create a water bath that will give off lots of steam while the cheesecake bakes.
Then place the cheesecake pan in the oven, and bake until the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have a slight jiggle to it. This will be about 45-55 minutes. At this point, close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. After one hour has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.
Serve topped with caramel, Snickers, and peanuts.
OK seriously, it was gorgeous