This may sound a bit crazy. But I’m going to tell you anyway…
It’s my birthday on Thursday (no that’s not the crazy part).
This year I’m actually looking forward to getting older. Like really excited about it.
Well, I’m turning 44 and all my previous repeated digit years have been really significant for me…
11 – Went to boarding school.
22 – First ‘proper’ job in product development at Kellogg.
33 – Started Stonesoup!
I have a big audacious goal that I’ve been wanting to achieve for years. Until now it’s taken a second place to starting a family. But now I have my two gorgeous boys (which is more than enough!).
I wonder what fabulous 44 will bring?
But I promised you treats. And treats you shall have!
Treat Number 1. The Birthday Cake
This year’s treat has been on high rotation since the beginning of the year – not something that happens very often because I’m always trying new things.
But it won’t take much imagination to see why…
I mean peanut butter + chocolate + cheesecake? Not exactly a difficult equation to solve.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
As soon as I saw a recipe for this in Nigel Slater’s latest book, I knew I had to make a low carb / gluten-free version. Luckily it was pretty easy to adapt. But I did repeat it on many an occasion just to make sure I had it 100% right, nothing to do with wanting to eat it again.
I use 90% cocoa solids chocolate because that’s my favourite these days. But feel free to use whatever chocolate you prefer. And don’t worry, if you’re into sugar, I’ve got you covered in the variations below ;)
enough for 6-8
takes: about an hour
50g (2oz) butter
100g (3.5oz) dark chocolate, chopped
250g (9oz) roasted peanuts
500g (1lb) Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temp
1/8 teaspoon pure stevia (see note below)
100g (3.5oz) peanut butter
1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line a 20cm (8in) cake tin. Place two layers of foil over the outside base of the tin to stop water seeping in when you bake in the water bath.
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add 30g (1oz) of the chocolate NOT ALL. Stand for a few minutes for the chocolate to melt.
3. Meanwhile whizz peanuts in the food processor until you have a mix of fine powder and chunky nuts.
4. Stir chocolate butter mixture and add to the peanuts. Pulse until just combined. (If the chocolate hasn’t melted put saucepan back on over a low heat until it is before adding to the nuts.) Taste and if it needs more sweetness add a pinch of stevia or a little sugar.
5. Spread nut mixture over the base of your tin and pop it in the freezer to set while you make the filling.
6. Clean and dry your food processor bowl. Whizz cream cheese and stevia until smooth. Add eggs one at a time scraping down the sides between each.
7. To melt remaining chocolate, bring about 2cm water to the boil in the saucepan you used to melt the butter (no need to clean it). Place chocolate in a small bowl and pop it on top of the saucepan. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water and is just being warmed by the steam. Remove from the heat and stand to allow chocolate to melt gently.
8. Pour filling over the chilled base.
9. Using a teaspoon top with dots of peanut butter.
10. Drizzle over the melted chocolate.
11. Place tin in a large baking tray. Make sure your foil is going to protect the cheesecake from the water and pop the tin in the tray. Fill the baking tray with hot water from the tap – about 2cm (1in) up the sides of the tin – not too much to come up past the foil.
12. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheesecake is starting to puff up a little and feels firm in the middle remembering it will firm even more as it chills.
13. Remove from the water bath and cool for about 30 minutes before chilling in the fridge for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
important note about stevia! – there are two types of stevia:
1. Pure stevia powder (not an affiliate link) which looks like icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar. It’s expensive but a tiny amount goes a long long way. We’re talking 1/4 teaspoon to sweeten a whole cake.
2. Granular stevia like Natvia or truvia which looks like regular white sugar. It’s a blend of erythritol and stevia.
I’ve used the pure powder in this recipe but if you wanted to use granular stevia you would need 3-4 tablespoons (add to taste).
vanilla – add a teaspoon vanilla extract or the scraped seeds of a vanilla bean to the filling.
sugar lovers – replace stevia with 75g (3oz) caster sugar (superfine).
no stevia – use your favourite sweetener – just add to taste as the only function of the stevia is sweetness. If I didn’t have diabetes I’d totally be making it with maple syrup.
nut-free – skip the peanut butter and replace peanuts with digestive biscuits, graham cookies or other plain sweet biscuit / cookie.
More Birthday Cake Love!
- 2019 Strawberry Almond Shortcakes
- 2018 Chocolate Walnut Birthday ‘Cake’
- 2017 Amazing Orange & Almond Birthday Cake
- 2016 Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- 2015 Paleo Carrot Cake
- 2014 Red Velvet Birthday Brownies
- 2013 Birthday Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 2012 Croissant Surprise Birthday Cake
- 2011 Delicious Lemon Birthday Cake
Lots of Birthday love!