Friday, 31 October 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecakes (Wheat Free)

Beannachtaí na féile Oíche Shamhna, gach duine! In other words, happy Halloween! I hope everyone has or is having a fantastic day, and that my recent spate of Halloween related recipes has you well prepared for feasting. And here's another one!

Yes, I'm still on my cheesecake buzz. After the success of the previous two mini cheesecake posts, why wouldn't I be? So here's my most recent offering: peanut butter cup cheesecakes.

The inspiration behind this one I'm sure is fairly obvious: more Halloweeny peanutty goodness, with an American style twist, It followed from the coconut lime cheesecakes because I wanted to see if the recipe still worked if I replaced the coconut milk with smooth peanut butter; I was not disappointed.

One must understand, my brain works in a fairly non-linear fashion. I constantly imagine better and different ways of doing recipes, and invent new possibilities in my mind on a minute to minute basis. When I make one thing, it doesn't stop with the final product; it spurs my mind into imagine new things, usually starting with the though "hang on, what would happen if I....?"

But enough of my ramblings. To make these, I simply made a shortbread style base my mixing 2 ounces (55 grammes) of icing sugar, 4 ounces (115 grammes) of butter, 4 ounces (115 grammes) of spelt flour, 3 tablespoons (45 millilitres) of cornflour, and 1 tablespoon (15 grammes) of cocoa powder together with a pinch of salt until you achieve a crumbly dough. Line a 12 indent muffin tin with cases and divide the crumble between, flattening down and spreading slightly up the sides. Bake in a preheated 150°C (300°F, Gas Mk.2, or very moderate) oven for 15 minutes.

Prepare the filling following this recipe, replacing the coconut milk with smooth peanut butter, and the lime zest and juice with 4 fluid ounces (120 millilitres) of whipping cream. Distribute between the baked bases, and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then chill overnight.

The next day, make the chocolate glaze by melting together 4 ounces (115 grammes) of milk or dark chocolate, 1.5 ounces (40 grammes) sunflower oil, and 1.5 ounces (40 grammes) of butter with a pinch of salt. Pour on the cases, moving the cakes to evenly spread the glaze, and then tap on the work surface to smooth out and release any bubbles. Decorate with bashed roasted salted peanuts.

The consistency of these cheesecakes is absolutely perfect: super creamy yet not too dense. The peanut flavour is nice and subtle, and complimented well by the chocolate base and glaze. There is also a nice combination of textures with the creamy cheesecake and glaze, crumbly base, and crunchy peanut topping.

You could of course use crunchy peanut butter if you want more crunch, but I'm not a fan of crunchy peanut butter. I'm sure this could work just as well with any kind of nut butter, such as almond or hazelnut.

There was no recipe this time last year.

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