Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake—Prototype 7:
This prototype, prepared in September of 2016, was very likely my very first two-flavor-layer cheesecake made since my major cheesecake batter overhaul that I had done about a year earlier. A particular challenge with this latest chocolate-peanut-butter combo was to divide an egg evenly—not separate the white and yolk, but rather divide the already-blended, white-and-yolk mixture into two halves. This was due to the total "basic" batter (which itself was being prepared in two halves) calling for an odd number of eggs.
3-Cheese Blend (1CT-1NC-4YG):
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 8 ounces of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese and 8 ounces of softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream 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
3/8 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 oz. (1 cup) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. finely ground All-Bran

Place the resulting mixture in the greased pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes, depending on the mixture's thickness (closer to 10 minutes if thin enough to be fully distributed across the pan's bottom by gentle shaking, closer to 5 minutes if thick enough to require spreading out this mixture by pressing on it with a utensil and/or fingers), then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

Chocolate Batter:
20 oz. (2 1/2 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1 teaspoon vanilla
7/8 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
2 1/2 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:
20 oz. (2 1/2 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 oz. unsalted peanut butter
2 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
2 1/2 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 65-70 (but see comments below) 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 105-110 minutes. As an option, immediately after removal from the oven, decorate this cheesecake with chocolate and/or peanut butter 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.

* For more information on half-egg usage, see "Measuring Half Of An Egg" in Cheesecake Tips.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake—Prototype 7

I initially planned to do the second installment of baking (i.e., after adding the peanut butter batter on top of the chocolate one) at 60 minutes, and perhaps this could have been sufficient, but I added another 10 minutes as extra insurance for a decently firm outcome (I tacked on an additional 10 minutes to the initially-planned, 100-minute, room-cooling time as well).

I made this cheesecake in Pastor Kim's honor. The flavor was selected by this leader of Living Hope Church, where I had been serving many of my cheesecakes over the last few years leading up to this point. I served this latest one there as well, alongside a modest selection of other sweets brought by others. The cheesecake was over 80% gone by the time I took the rest home.

Less than a month later, as the new Jewish year, 5777, arrived, I repeated this prototype (maybe I should have referred to this one as "Prototype 5777"—emphasize the 7's), but this time, the outer border of chips were
milk chocolate (more in keeping with the classic Reese's Peanut Butter Cup tradition), as opposed to semi-sweet (which I used on the previous cheesecake). The inner border of chips remained peanut butter. Yum! I also reduced the second installment of baking time to 65 minutes and the room temperature cooling time to 105 minutes. I still had no problems with a lack of firmness.

Prototype 7 with milk chocolate chips

I brought this sweet treat to my cousin Joanne and Jerry's house for Rosh HaShanah, where it fared nicely for a small party (I brought the rest—a little under half left over—home).

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