Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven.
The first time I fell in love with the combination was when I worked in America for a summer. I was working behind the counter in an Italian inspired bakery that was stacked high with cannolis, biscotti and baked cheesecakes. The influence might have been Italian but the portion sizes were definitely American. One of the cheesecakes we served was peanut butter and chocolate, in typical fashion it was four inches thick and impossibly rich. I loved the job and made sure to taste test everything.
The cheesecake recipe included here is for a far lighter version than the heavy baked American peanut butter cheesecake. I make it with a smooth peanut butter but crunchy will do just as well.
You can get peanut butter that is made with one hundred percent peanuts and contains no other ingredients. It is better for you and for the environment than some of the brands that are laced with palm oil or with added sugar. Peanut butter is also great for savoury recipes. Mix with chilli, garlic, a little soya and coconut milk to make a satay sauce for chicken or vegetables.
A wider variety of good quality nut butters are becoming available in Ireland, like peanut butter they are simply spreads made with ground nuts. The high protein content makes them an ideal snack as they fill you up for the day ahead. I make my own almond butter by roasting the almonds and blitzing them until smooth, a little drizzle of honey and it is ready to eat.
Peanut butter and ricotta cheesecake
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