Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Radical Cooking - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Made in the Slow Cooker!

Cooking outside the take out box
Better, faster, easier, healthier.............

Easy Easter Brunch Menu
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
Parmesan and Cheddar Quiche
Gently Heated Spiral Glazed Ham
Warm Leek Salad with Tomato, Lemon and Balsamic
Biscuits and Lamb Shaped Creamery Butter
Sweet Orange Marmalade
Radical - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake*
French Roast Coffee or Strawberry Spiced Tea

* Recipe follows

Easter Brunch
Fresh eggs and fresh veggies

Peanut butter and Easter go hand in hand so why not serve them as cheesecake?

Radical - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

This is the creamest, easiest, most wonderful cheesecake you'll ever make - and it NEVER cracks!!!

You bake it in the slow cooker which is a pretty radical idea when you think about it.  Most people use their slow cooker for only stews and chili but the slow cooker can be your new best friend if you let it!

The slow cooker not only free's up your oven but it keeps your kitchen cool which means that you can bake home made desserts all summer long without heating up the house.

Start with this cheesecake for Easter and more recipes will follow, I am sure, because I'm pretty radical when it comes to cooking!

Makes 1 (7 inch) cheesecake
Serves 10-12
Baking time: 1 ¾ hours in slow cooker
Pan: 7 inch spring form (removable bottom)

Some Bunny Loves You

¾ cup pecan shortbread cookie crumbs (like Pecan Sandies) or plain shortbread (like Lorna Doones)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter (melted and warm - margarine not recommended)

Lightly coat a 7 inch spring form pan with cooking spray.  Mix crust ingredients together and lightly press into bottom of prepared pan.

Karla's tip:   Pulse cookies in food processor to make crumbs then measure.

1 cup sugar
16 ounces regular cream cheese (softened - low fat, fat free and whipped not recommended)
3 large or extra large eggs (3/4 cup)
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup smooth peanut butter (regular type - not natural style - we used Peter Pan)
½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips (we used Nestles)

Using the food processor, blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips) together and process until very smooth - about 1 minute.  Remove ½ cup batter and reserve.  Pour remaining batter into crust lined pan.

Microwave chocolate chips till melted then stir into reserved ½ cup batter.  Dollop chocolate batter over peanut butter batter and swirl both together (a dinner knife works well.)  Be careful not to disturb bottom crust.

Put a rack into your slow cooker (3 wide mouth canning jar rings clustered together works well as an improvised rack - so does a thick ring of aluminum foil) and place the cheesecake on top.

Cover slow cooker. Set on high. Cook 1 hour 50 minutes or until barely set. (Cheesecake will not look done. It will be slightly puffed about 1 inch around the edges but the center will stick to your finger when lightly touched).

Immediately shut off cooker and remove lid.  Let cheesecake cool in cooker 20 minutes then remove cheesecake from slow cooker.  Put onto cooling rack.

Cool 1 hour at room temperature then refrigerate (lightly covered) 18 - 24 hours before attempting to cut.  Do not bake and serve the cheesecake on the same day.
Spring has Sprung

Karla's Tip:
Slow cooker used to test this recipe was 270 watts with an interior diameter of 9 ¾ inches and a depth of 5 inches.  Slow cooker was not preheated.

Other size and watt slow cookers may require an adjustment in cooking time.  Cheesecake is done when it slightly puffs about 1 inch around the edges.  The center should stick to your finger when lightly touched.  You may think the cheesecake is not done but it will firm as it cools and sets. 

For best results, avoid opening the lid and look through the clear top.  If your lid is opaque, you'll have open it.  Do the best you can.   


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