Sunday, August 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Cheesecake w/Carmalized Bananas

My brother's birthday was on the 4th of this month. Sadly I wasn't able to celebrate on Thursday with my family and go out to a fancy steak dinner, because it was my last week of work and I needed to be in the office on Friday. And my family lives about 2 hours away.

I did go home though on Saturday morning, so I could at least make my brother a cake.

Every year my brother asks me for some variation of a banana cake or a cheesecake. This year his request was for me to make a banana peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. I plotted and planned and finally found the perfect recipe.

Ingredients
CRUST
18 chocolate graham crackers
10 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
6 tbsp packed brown sugar

FILLING
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream

TOPPING
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
7 ripe bananas, cut in half and then into 1-inch pieces

Directions
1. Position rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350.

2. Combine the ingredients for the crust in a food processor. Blend the crumbs until they stick together. Press the crumb mixture in the bottom of a springform pan. Bake for about 12 minutes and then set aside and let cool. Maintain the oven temperature.

3. Rinse out the food processor. In the processor place the cream cheese and peanut butter. Pulse until smooth. Add the sugars and pulse until fluffy.

4. Pulse in each egg, one at a time followed by the vanilla. Scrape the cheesecake batter on top of the crust.

5. Wrap the sides of the springform pan with three sheets of aluminum foil. Place a springform pan in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with enough water, to reach about half way up the sides of the springform.

6. Bake in the water bath in the oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Place the hot cheesecake directly in the refrigerator and chill for approximately 6 hours.

7. After the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, heat the butter for the topping in a skillet and mix with the brown sugar. Stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is bubbly, for about 4 minutes. Add the banana pieces to the skillet and coat with the caramel sauce.

8. Carefully transfer the bananas to the top of the cheesecake. Let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

I'm not even going to try to figure out the calories. This is one of those things you just have to indulge yourself in. I can't always be perfect.

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