Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake—Prototype 6:
For my visit to California around Thanksgiving of 2013, I asked my relatives there to select a cheesecake flavor/variety for me to make for them during my time with them. That choice has led to this latest prototype.
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
Prepare ahead of time 32 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from two 32-ounce containers (that's 64 ounces altogether) of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 32 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine one 16-ounce container of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

Grease a 9 1/2" (or 9") pan, but do not wrap foil around it until just before the batter is added (spreading the crust in an already wrapped pan can result in greater disturbance to the foil, thus increasing leakage risks).

Chocolate Crust:
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 oz. (1 cup) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
3/8 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. finely ground All-Bran

Place resulting mixture in the greased pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

Chocolate Batter:
2 tablespoons melted/softened butter (unsalted recommended)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
7/8 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
20 oz. (2 1/2 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Wrap the pan in foil at this point. Carefully pour the batter on top of the crust and bake all this in a hot water tub at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes. Afterwards, take the tub-and-pan assembly out of the oven and promptly add the batter indicated below.

Peanut Butter Batter:
2 tablespoons melted/softened butter (unsalted recommended)
4 oz. unsalted peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
20 oz. (2 1/2 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 eggs

Carefully scoop this on top of the chocolate batter (it is best to do this around the edge of the pan and let the peanut butter batter flow towards the middle) and return the tub-and-pan assembly to the oven, this time at only 300 degrees. Bake for about 60 more minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan). Then shut off the oven and cool the cheesecake down while still in it (and in tub), with the oven door slightly ajar, for about an hour. Afterwards, remove the cheesecake (still in its springform pan) from the oven and tub and continue to cool it down at room temperature for another 100 minutes. As an option, immediately after removal from the oven, decorate this cheesecake with chocolate chips (or peanut butter cup candies such as miniature size cups or broken pieces of larger cups) around its edge.

After cooling down at room temperature, remove the cheesecake from its pan and refrigerate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake—Prototype 6 Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake—Prototype 6 (sliced)

This dessert was well received by my extended family in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area. I made this cheesecake at my brother Eric's house in this part of California and served it among the desserts at our Thanksgiving dinner there.

Due to my being in that part of the country, I had to find different dairy products that would "fit the bill" for my recipe. Back home in the Boston area, I would normally use Market Basket nonfat yogurt and Hood no-salt-added lowfat cottage cheese. I ended up settling for a regular-salted cottage cheese, because I could not find a no-salt-added version. Of greater concern, I struggled when looking for a trustworthy (particularly
without added thickeners), plain, nonfat yogurt. But I ultimately managed to locate one that satisfied my shopping criteria. This yogurt was organic, and the brand was Nancy's, a product of Springfield Creamery of Eugene, Oregon. It ended up straining "okay" over a period of probably about 40 hours (and I did not find the taste to be excessively tart like a chocolate cheesecake—Prototype 14 on that one—that I made about 15 months earlier, at my brother's Tahoe house).

Nancy's Yogurt Thanksgiving desserts at Eric's house

In late May of 2015 I repeated Prototype 6, this time using the usual Market Basket yogurt and Hood cottage cheese—and adding an
inner border of peanut butter chips inside a semi-sweet chocolate one! Both kinds of chips were from Trader Joe's. This serious masterpiece was not only a work of my "Home Depot cooking" due to my preparing this cheesecake with a new oven that I recently purchased from this store, but also because I baked this dessert for the Memorial Day cookout taking place there—for my fellow associates to enjoy. Depot-licious!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake—Prototype 6 (2015 repeat)

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