No Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Recipe with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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I was lucky enough to receive another yummy Degustabox in September and one of the scrumptious food items was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. (We’re still getting through the other items but my box review will be up when we’ve tried it all).

I was lucky enough to receive 2 packets of these peanut butter cups, and each packet contained 3 cups. I must admit, I had never tasted them before so was excited to try them. Chocolate covered peanut butter… heaven! Well, I liked them so much I had to buy more for this recipe!

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I was wondering what I could make with them and decided that as Reese’s is an American company, I wanted to try the favourite American combination of peanut butter and jelly. I had to spend some time Googling this… should it be jelly like we eat in trifles, or jelly as in jam? What flavour should it be? I discovered that it is jamlike, and traditionally grape flavoured. However I couldn’t find grape jelly/jam anywhere here so I used strawberry. I think any berry jam would work just as well. In this recipe I used 8 peanut butter cups and the peanut butter taste was strong but delicious. If you want a more subtle taste I would use 5 or 6. You can always add more if you want it stronger. Also, I like quite a deep cheesecake as it’s a really indulgent creamy dessert, but if you like a thinner one, just use half of the ingredients. I made this in an 8 inch deep cake tin. Anyway, enough waffling, here’s the recipe:

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY CHEESECAKE

250g digestive biscuits

80g unsalted butter

1 tbsp caster sugar

560g cream cheese

250ml double cream

80g icing sugar

5 to 8 Reese’s peanut butter cups, depending on how strong you want the flavour

3 tbsp strawberry jam

  • Line a deep cake tin with foil, getting rid of any big creases by pressing them down. Blitz the digestive biscuits in a food processor, or crush in a sandwich bag until there are no big chunks left. Mix in the caster sugar.
  • Melt the butter and then pour on to the biscuit crumbs. Mix well and then transfer to the foil lined tin. Spread it all over the base and press down firmly with the back of a metal spoon. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to harden.
  • Place the Reese’s peanut butter cups in a heatproof bowl and either melt over a pan of barely simmering water making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, or heat in the microwave checking every few seconds so they don’t burn. Stir the chocolate and peanut butter mixture well until it is all combined and is one colour.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat. Add the melted Reese’s cups and beat well until it is all combined. Add the cream and beat until the mixture thickens. Alternatively you can beat the cream in a separate bowl until soft peak stage, then fold it into the peanut butter cheesecake mixture.
  • Pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base and spread evenly.
  • Very gently heat the jam until it just starts to go liquidy, then sieve to remove any lumps of fruit. (You just want the “jelly”). Use a teaspoon to drop little blobs of the jam on top of the cheesecake, then use a cocktail stick or skewer to make a swirly pattern. Place in fridge and chill for at least 4 hours until set.
  • To remove, gently lift the foil out of the tin, peel away from cheesecake and serve.

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Chocolate Concrete Recipe using Food Thoughts Finest Organic Cocoa

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I was over the moon to recently be sent some Finest Organic Cocoa from Food Thoughts. I get through A LOT of cocoa in my house… chocolate cake, brownies, cookies, and did I mention chocolate cake? If I’m honest, I have never really thought about the cocoa I usually buy. Until now, that is!

I’ve heard people talk about “Dutch processed” cocoa but wasn’t really sure what that was. I’ve now discovered that it means the cocoa has been washed in a potassium carbonate solution which reduces the cocoa’s natural acidity. A lot of people say this cocoa tastes smoother. Personally I prefer the more natural taste of chocolate, and so this Food Thoughts one is perfect. It is 100% pure natural cocoa powder, unsweetened and gluten-free. Just as nature intended. Heaven!

I wanted to try it in a recipe which relies on a very chocolatey flavour, so it had to be chocolate concrete (or chocolate crunch, depending on where you live). This was easily my favourite school dinner pudding, and remains a firm favourite family pudding today. We used to have it at school served with pink custard, which I’ve since found out was actually hot pink blancmange. Who knew? A lot of people have told me that pink custard is wrong… it has to be green mint custard. Again, it seems that it depends on where you live as to how it was served. I’ll stick with the pink though! I only found out how to make chocolate concrete a few years ago, when a lovely retired dinner lady gave me the recipe. I’m eternally grateful! I have made this recipe with both Dutch processed, and with this yummy Food Thoughts natural cocoa powder. The difference in colour hit me first. Dutch processed cocoa is a lot darker than natural, where natural is a much redder shade of brown. The main picture is using Food Thoughts cocoa. The next picture uses Dutch processed:

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I prefer the natural cocoa colour. Tastewise, I again prefer the natural cocoa. For me it tastes more chocolatey and indulgent.

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CHOCOLATE CONCRETE

155g unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

30g cocoa powder

225g self-raising flour

170g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top

  • Preheat oven to 160C. Grease a 12 x 7 inch tin with butter.
  • Mix the sugar and melted butter together, then add the flour and cocoa powder. Mix well until you have a stiff consistency and it is all well combined. Gently mix in the beaten egg.
  • Transfer the mixture to the greased tin, press down using the back of a metal spoon and flatten the mixture firmly into the tin, making sure you press the corners down well too.
  • Dip your fingers into cold water and sprinkle lightly on top of the mixture. Bake in the top half of the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little bit of granulated sugar. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces of desired size, and cool on wire racks. This will make it harden too.
  • Serve on its own or with any flavour of custard to be transported back to your childhood school dinnertimes.

If you want to try Food Thoughts Cocoa for yourself, it is only available in Sainsburys at the moment, but they will be expanding it to more supermarkets in the future. Enjoy!

I was sent this cocoa free of charge to sample and bake with. All views are my own though as honesty is always the best policy.