It took a little while to go from thought to plate, but I was very pleased with the results.
Chocolate and peanuts are a favorite combo. Chocolate and malt are classic. Caramel goes with all of them. Combine them all, and the flavor is very reminiscent of a very familiar candy bar.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with those flavors.
Finally, I decided on cheesecake. Even if you don't think of any particular candy bar when you taste this, the flavors mix, match, and mingle very well.
The malt powder I used is the same malt powder that's sold for making malted milk. If you don't like that flavor, you can leave it out, no problem.
For the cookies, you can go home-made all the way and make your own cookies, or you can start with any commercial chocolate cookie that you like.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup dulce de leche or similar caramel sauce
For the filling:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sour cream
For the topping:
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup heavy cream (or as needed)
2 tablespoons sugar
Whipped cream (optional)
Combine the cookie crumbs with the butter, and stir to combine.
Press the cookie mixture into the bottom and part way up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. You can go all the way up the sides, if you like, but you don't have to.
Place it on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and top with the dulce de leche, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the crust. If the caramel is too thick to spread, place the crust back in the oven for a minute until the caramel softens enough to spread.
Let the crust cool while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each time until it is fully incorporated. Add the cornstarch, vanilla, malted milk powder, sugar, and salt. Mix on low speed until it is combined. Mix in the sour cream.
Pour the filling into the crust in the pan, and smooth and level the top. Bake on the baking sheet at 350 degrees until the filling is starting to set but is still jiggly in the center, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping:
Combine the sour cream, peanut butter, and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. The mixture should be thick, but pourable rather than spreadable. If it is too thick, add heavy cream, as needed - how much you will need depends on the brands of peanut butter and sour cream you use, but you shouldn't need more than 1/4 cup.
Pour the topping evenly over the partially-cooked filling. Bake on the baking sheet for an additional 15 minutes. The filling should still be just a little jiggly in the center - it will continue cooking as it cools.
Remove from the oven, and let it cool on a rack to room temperature, then refrigerate until fully chilled - about four hours, or longer, if it;s more convenient.
If your prefer a more decorate presentation, serve with a dollop of whipped cream.