Gosh. It's been two whole weeks since my last blog post and honestly, I don't know how time got away from me.
Well, yes I do.
I've been building sand castles with ice cream here, and doing all kinds of fun things with sugar here. I've also been testing this cheesecake recipe for a solid week. It was tricky making my Butterfinger-cheesecake dreams come true, and finally (after four-ish tries) a result was earned that I so ardently desired.
Before we talk about love and cheesecake (because those two things always go together in my vocabulary) I have some news to share!
I've accepted an offer from Running Press to write a second cookbook! We're still working through all the details, so I don't have many specifics to share, but I can tell you that it will be a little different from my first book. You can also expect a photo for every recipe and in addition to American measurements, metric will be provided.
I'm so grateful to have this opportunity again. My heart is so happy it's bursting at the seams! And I'm truly thankful to everyone who's supported my first book. Love and love and love to you!
Speaking of love - let's talk about this cheesecake! It's another crazy hybrid of two desserts made into one. A chocolate-Butterfinger cheesecake is sandwiched between two chocolate-Butterfinger brownie layers. It's covered in peanut butter-cream cheese frosting and then smothered with chocolate glaze that overflows the cake's edges.
One thing I learned through testing this recipe, the Butterfinger bars should be chopped finely before folding it into the batters. Any large chunks will make the baked cake difficult and messy to slice. One very neat thing about the cheesecake portion is, you can trade the chocolate chips used in the batter for peanut butter chips. So if you prefer a peanut butter cheesecake center, go for it! I made the cake both ways, and both versions are delicious. I ultimately decided to go with a chocolate center because the peanut butter frosting was enough peanutty flavor for me. But this is your cheesecake, so make it as peanutty as you wish!
I added a little orange food color to the peanut butter frosting to give the cake that signature look of a Butterfinger bar's interior, but that's completely optional. It would be just as yummy without.
I probably don't have to tell you that this cake is major. Brew a pot of coffee, or have a glass of milk handy. You'll need it!
Chocolate-Butterfinger Overflow Cheesecake
[click for printable version]
Source: Brownie and cheesecake recipes adapted from Hershey's
Yield: One 9-inch cheesecake, about 12 servings
Prep: 2 hours; total about 6-7 hours with chill time
This cheesecake can be made over the course of two days. The cheesecake layer can be made on the first day, and the other elements on the second day. Be sure to chop the Butterfinger bars finely. Large chunks will hinder the baked cake from cutting smoothly. Equal weight of peanut butter chips can be used in place of the chocolate chips for a peanut butter cheesecake center.
1/4 cup/ 50g granulated sugar
3 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 2/3 cups/ 10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, melted
4 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 mini Butterfinger bars finely chopped/ about 200g total
3/4 cup/ 96g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup/150g unsalted butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup/ 4oz boiling water
2 cups/ 400g granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups/ 171g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 mini butterfinger bars finely chopped/ about 200g total
8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup/ 226g unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup/ 178g smooth peanut butter
4 cups/ 440g confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Orange gel food coloring *optional
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup/ 117 ml heavy cream
1/4/ 85g cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mini Butterfinger bars, about 40g
- For the cheesecake, grease a 9x3-inch spring-form pan with vegetable shortening and line the bottom with parchment. Preheat the oven to 300F. Beat sugar and cream cheese together until smooth. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then melted chips. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Fold in chopped Butterfinger bars. Pour into pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. the cheesecake will puff up over the top of the pan, but will gradually sink back down over time after removed from the oven. Let cheesecake cool in the pan. Run a knife around the edge before removing the spring-form collar. Chill thoroughly before removing the base and parchment circle. Level the top of the cheesecake with a serrated knife or cake leveler. Keep chilled until ready to use.
- For the brownie layers, preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment circles. Stir together cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl; stir in 1/3 cup butter. Add boiling water; stir until mixture thickens. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining 1/3 cup butter; stir until smooth. Add flour, vanilla and salt; blend well. Fold in chopped Butterfinger bars. Divide batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the brownies. Let brownies cool in pan. Run a knife around the edge and turn out onto wire rack. Set aside while you make the frosting.
- For the peanut butter frosting, combine cream cheese, butter and peanut butter in a large bowl. Beat together on high speed until combined with an electric hand mixer. Beat in confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add food color if desired.
- Place a brownie layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Stack cheesecake on top and press gently (they should stick together without icing). Finally, top with the remaining brownie layer. Press down gently but firmly until layers are slightly compressed and adhered to one another. Cover cake with a thick layer of frosting using an off-set spatula. Save a little frosting for later (1/2 cup or so) if you'd like to pipe decorative rosettes around the top of the cake.
- For the chocolate glaze, combine chocolate and heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high until the milk begins to steam. Remove from heat and let stand 2-3 minutes; whisk until chocolate and cream and smooth and combined. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Whisk again until smooth. Place mixture in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over top of cake and allow it to overflow and run down the sides of the cake. Refrigerate. When set, pipe on frosting rosettes, if desired. Finely chop the two mini Butterfinger bars and sprinkle over the top edge of the cake.