16 August 2012

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake

If you have been reading my blog you know I love all things with a combination of salty and sweet.  My very favorite salty/sweet treat ever is Chubby Hubby ice cream by Ben and Jerry's.  Chubby Hubby is a most delightful and magical, if unlikely, combination.  Here's how it goes: vanilla malt ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate swirls and chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzel chunks scattered throughout.  I know the pretzels may throw you off, but trust me when I tell you that it is otherworldly delicious.  The fact that it's my husband's favorite ice cream as well (and the fact that it was already his favorite before we met) tells me that we are truly meant to be together.

Chubby Hubby has one major, major fault, though.  I can't always get it.  Its availability goes in spurts.  For two years or so we can get it at just about any grocery store.  Then all the Chubby Hubby disappears for a couple of years.  I check the freezer case in vain every time I go shopping.  No Chubby Hubby anywhere.  We're in the middle of a Chubby Hubby drought right now.  Chubby Hubby Cheesecake is my newest dessert invention as a stand in for my sorely missed ice cream.

The cheesecake is a malt cheesecake with chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake swirls and a pretzel crust.  A little different from Ben and Jerry's, but most decidedly tasty.  I like a relatively dense and creamy cheesecake.  I think cheesecakes should be insanely rich and melt-in-your-mouth luscious.  This one definitely fits the bill.  It's not the prettiest cheesecake -- the top will sink and crack a little, but I think the taste is what really matters.  You won't see those cracks on the top once it's sliced up anyway.

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake
serves 16

For the crust:
2 cups finely crushed or ground salted pretzels
7 T unsalted butter, melted
4 T sugar

For the filling:

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
32 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
5 large eggs
1/3 cup malted milk powder 
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

For the crust, mix together the pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.  Press into the bottom of a 9 or 10" springform pan in a uniform layer on the bottom only; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 475°.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each time you heat the chocolate.  As soon as the chocolate is just melted, remove it from the microwave; set aside to cool slightly while you make the cheesecake filling.

Beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of you mixer for 5 minutes on medium speed, or until creamy and little more fluffy.  Add the milk and mix for 1 minute.  Add the eggs, beating to 1 minute after each egg you add.  Mix in the malted milk powder and beat for 1 more minute.

To make the peanut butter swirl, remove 1 cup of cheesecake filling to a separate bowl and mix thoroughly with the peanut butter.

To make the chocolate swirl, remove 1 cup of cheesecake filling to a separate bowl and mix thoroughly with the melted chocolate.

Pour the vanilla malt cheesecake into the springform pan over the crust.  Put dollops of the peanut butter and chocolate swirls on top of the vanilla batter.  Using a knife or skewer, distribute the peanut butter and chocolate through the vanilla malt batter.

Bake the cheesecake at 475° for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°.  Bake for 50 more minutes.  Turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven.  Leave the oven door slightly ajar (I used a wooden spoon to hold mine open) and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack.

Move the cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan to remove the springform ring.

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