Now that the presidential and MP elections are over, it means we’ll not have to put up with obnoxious vans blaring out promises and loud music as part of campaigns. Which means peaceful baking times.
Even if you’ve never lived in Asia, you’ll certainly know by reputation that ‘everything’ is dirt cheap here. And that is quite true to a certain extent. I mean, I go out almost every morning to the markets with some AUD$30, and return victorious every time with a trolley full of groceries, sometimes even clothes, with change to spare. So you can imagine my lack of surprise when a jar of peanut butter with a similar price tag to an Australian brand is doubled the size, and thus my wanting to use it in some way other than spread on toast for the 6th day in a row. And that, is the story of how the PB & B cheesecake was born.
It’s a simple recipe: 1 package of cream cheese, 1 egg, 1 banana and a few others, blended together to make what I consider a perfect symphony of sweet bananas and slightly salty peanut butter. And because I persisted and managed to resist my urge to reduce the cooking time, the texture is unbelievably creamy, almost like a mousse except rich and custardy.
PB & B cheesecake (makes one 5″ cake)
For the roasted almond biscuit base:
see pâte sucrée recipe, replace with roasted almond meal
For the batter:
250g cream cheese, room temp.*
40g granulated sugar
15g brown sugar
1 egg, room temp.
dash of vanilla (+ optional bourbon)
1 small banana, mashed w/ few drops of lemon juice
2 tbsp peanut butter
Roll out the biscuit dough to desired thickness of about 4mm, then cut it to the same size as the base of the tin. Place it onto the lined base of the tin and bake at 180C for about 10 minutes until fragrant and the edges slightly golden. Reduce the temperature to 160C and place a pan of hot water on the bottom rack.
Beat the softened cream cheese with the two sugars together (sift brown sugar if lumpy). Lightly whisk the egg and add it to the cheese mixture slowly while mixing. Add the vanilla and alcohol if using. Place the peanut butter into a separate mixing bowl, warm slightly if the consistency is more viscous than the main batter. Add about half of the cheese mixture to the peanut butter and mix to combine. Add the mashed bananas to the other half and mix evenly.
Alternately pour the two flavours of batter into the tin, make swirls if you’d like with a skewer or similar tool. Tap the tin to release air bubbles, and place in the middle rack of the oven to bake for approx. 30-40 minutes, or until the centre is jiggly but the edges are set when shaken gently. Cool completely in the tin on a wire rack, then transfer, still in the tin, into the refrigerator to chill overnight before cutting/serving.