With Mother’s Day just around the corner, my thoughts turn to chocolate. Since I truly love the stuff, it probably has nothing whatsoever to do with Mother’s Day. Truth be told, my thoughts on any random day also turn to chocolate.
It’s odd that I should have this fixation, since although my own mother liked chocolate well enough, it wasn’t something she lusted for and gooey chocolate desserts were not something she ever much fixed. She could make a mean Boston Cream Pie or Chocolate Cream Pie, but those were usually special request items, not staples, and the special requester was usually me. Her mother, who wasn’t nearly as good a cook, not only didn’t love chocolate, she downright loathed it. Notwithstanding, she is the same grandmother, who made the world’s best fudge (about which I have previously blogged) which just goes to show that you don’t have to love chocolate to make it delicious.
My passion for chocolate is shared by 100% of my beautiful daughters-in-law and all three grandchildren. None of our sons, to their credit, are particularly drawn to desserts–except for fudge. Two favor peanut butter fudge; the other favors chocolate. (These preferences have led to endless bickering over the Christmas fudge. ) Fortunately, all of them have a soft spot for good cheesecake. And although Mike’s tastes run toward berry flavors, not chocolate, he’s always a sport and will pretty much eat anything.
So, for this Mother’s Day, I concocted a recipe that’s sure to please us all: sweet and creamy cheesecake with swirls of chocolate and peanut butter running all through it. Yum!
Reminds me of that old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial where the chocolate lover and the peanut butter lover, engrossed in eating the object of their affection, brainlessly bump into each other and simultaneously shout: “Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!/Hey, you got peanut butter in my chocolate! They then cautiously sample the mixture and their faces instantly take on expressions that suggest they’ve just glimpsed nirvana.
If you (or your mom) is a fan of this taste combo, you’ll be transported to nirvana, too. Make one for your mom, for your family, or just for yourself. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days and even freezes well, so you don’t have to ‘force’ yourself to eat it all on Mother’s Day. Here’s the recipe.
Marbled Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cheesecake
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granular Splenda
pinch fine salt
8 ounces softened cream cheese
8 ounces Ricotta cheese
4 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
30 packets Splenda
2 ounces unsweetened bar chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup no sugar added peanut butter
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Place all crust ingredients into the blender or food processor.
3. Pulse the mixture to a coarse meal.
4. Turn the mixture into a medium (about 8-9”) springform pan and press firmly to cover bottom and a half inch or so up the side.
5. Bake the crust for 5 to 6 minutes to set.
6. Remove crust and cool before filling.
7. Place the chocolate and peanut butter into a double boiler (or a heatproof mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water) over medium low heat and allow to fuly melt, stirring occasionally with a spatula. Remove from heat.
8. Stir in 10 packets of Splenda.
9. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, ricotta, and one yolk until smooth. Add remaining yolks one at a time, beating between each addition.
10. Beat in remaining Splenda.
11. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the cheese mixture.
12. Pour half the cheese mixture into the prepared crust.
13. Top with the peanut butter/chocolate mixture.
14. Pour remaining cheese mixture on top of this layer.
15. Draw a knife blade through the mixture in a free-form pattern to “marble” the cheesecake.
16. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until light golden.
17. Turn oven off, but do not disturb the cake. Leave the oven door ajar and allow the cake to slowly cool for about one hour.
18.Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Protein per serving: 9.9 grams
Effective Carb per serving: 6.5 grams