Chocolate Peanut Butter Feuilletine Cheesecake Bars

35 Comments
peanut butter cheesecake

Creamy peanut butter, crunchy biscuit & crisp feuilletine

This post started life as something very different. Very different and infinitely more virtuous.

While the content of this blog will most likely have helped you arrive at the correct conclusion that I’ve got a very sweet tooth, eating healthy food is also important to me. At the weekends I’ll bake with abandon, often experimenting for meals with family and friends or rustling up the ultimate in comfort food to ease us back into the working week come Sunday. The other five days I’m a little more restrained, as likely to enjoy a bowl of Greek yoghurt and honey or something simple and fruity as anything more button-bustingly flamboyant. I’m therefore always on the look-out for interesting ideas for sweet treats to enjoy mid-week: recipes that are wholesome enough to eat every day but every bit as delicious as their more calorific counterparts.

peanut butter cheesecake

Each slice is sprinkled with salty peanuts & drizzled with milk chocolate

Rice krispie cakes appear to have undergone something of a revolution in the past couple of years. Where once they were the preserve of tiny tots with sticky fingers, chocolate smeared spoons and faces, now they seem to be the ultimate in healthy snacking for grown-ups, a vehicle for brown puffed rice and unrefined syrups, trendy nut butters and anything but the chocolate, golden syrup and (heaven forbid) marshmallows for which they were once famous.

After seeing them here, here and here (and on at least half a dozen other lovely blogs), I caved in and decided to give these revamped rice krispie cakes a go. I bought a box of crisped brown rice, so light that I wondered if I’d actually got any food for my money. I hid a jar of peanut butter away from Carnivorous Fiancé’s wandering hands. I even invested in agar agar flakes, a key component of Heidi’s recipe – the one I’d decided I was going to make – even though the seaweed they’re made from sounds like something I should be at best stir frying, more likely leaving on the beach from which they came. I stocked my cupboards, rolled up my sleeves and prepared myself for some healthy baking. And then I discovered this.

peanut butter cheesecake

Love the combination of chocolate & peanut butter? This is the dessert for you

Feuilletine are flaky little shards of sheer deliciousness that taste of caramel and praline – a bit like crumbled up ice cream cones or cornflakes but crispier and lighter and infinitely superior. Crunchy, buttery and beautifully indulgent, they make a brown rice krispie look like KFC next to a chicken oyster. Ok, maye not KFC. Brown rice krispies are pretty healthy and definitely deserve a place in the world where KFC, in my opinion, does not. Maybe a plain steamed chicken breast next to its roasted counterpart, golden skin crisp against juicy flesh . . . Whatever. What I’m trying to say is that brown rice krispies are ok – I’ll probably bake with them and share the recipe here very soon – but when competing with my newly acquired packet of feuilletine, they never really stood a chance.

After a friend asked me to bring a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake round for dinner last week (for after dinner, obviously, it wasn’t the only thing we ate), I couldn’t get away from the idea of incorporating feuilletine into it in some way. I love the texture contrast of smooth creamy cheesecake and sweet biscuit crust but find if you go overboard on the latter it can become a bit thick and dry. What I wanted was an extra layer, somewhere between smooth cheese and crumbly crust, something to sink your spoon and teeth into, provide another dimension and even a little crunch.

peanut butter cheesecake

Milk & dark chocolate combine with smooth peanut butter & salty peanuts

Chocolate peanut butter feuilletine was the answer, adapted from a recipe by Daniel Boulud’s Executive pastry chef which I discovered on– of all random places – the Villeroy and Boch website. While his is an elaborate concoction of salted caramel ice cream, chocolate ganache, piped peanut butter cream and lacy chocolate tuiles (I know, yum), mine sits slightly more solidly between a chocolate biscuit crumb and wobbly cheesecake layer. It’s simpler and chunkier and a lot less pretty, but it tastes pretty good.

If you like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, this one’s for you. And if you love the contrast of smooth and crunchy, you definitely need some feuilletine in your life. Despite being stirred through molten chocolate and butter it retains its trademark crispness: perfect for this nutty chocolate layer but also delicious in mousses, ganache and parfaits or used as a bed for ice cream. According to Stella of the brilliant Brave Tart blog, you can even make your own, although you’d have to be a pretty big feuilletine fan to take on the fairly giant quantity her recipe yields.

Having said that, the packet I just bought is diminishing at a pretty rapid rate.  So it’s either make my own feuilletine, or time to take on that unopened packet of brown rice krispies . . .

peanut butter cheesecake

Chocolate. Peanut butter. Cheesecake. Enough said

Chocolate Peanut Butter Feuilletine Cheesecake Bars
(makes 12 – 16 bars, depending how big you cut them/how greedy you are)

I made my cheesecake with gelatine as I wanted to make sure it set well, however since the first attempt I’ve tried it again without and prefer the less wobbly, slightly more fluffy texture you get without. I’ve written out my original recipe below, but if you want to try it without gelatine, simply omit it along with the milk.

There are quite a few steps to this recipe, but don’t let it put you off. It’s very simple and if you can make rice krispie cakes, I’m pretty sure you can make these.

Ingredients:
For the biscuit base
175g chocolate digestives
50g butter, melted

For the chocolate feuilletine layer
100g milk chocolate
70g dark chocolate
40g butter
150g peanut butter
75g feuilletine

For the peanut butter cheesecake
5 leaves of gelatine
500g full fat cream cheese
175g smooth peanut butter
100g golden syrup
150ml full fat milk

To finish
75g milk chocolate, melted
Salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method:
For the biscuit base
Line a 20cm square loose bottomed cake tin with cling film plus a square of baking parchment in the bottom.

Blitz the chocolate digestives to crumbs in a food processor or bash in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Mix in the melted butter until well combined then press evenly into the base of your prepared tin. Chill in the fridge until needed.

For the chocolate feuilletine layer
Melt the chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl over a barely simmering pan of water. Add the peanut butter to the melted mixture then remove from the heat and stir to combine.

Carefully fold in the feuilletine then spoon the mixture over your chilled chocolate biscuit base.

For the peanut butter cheesecake
If using, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.

While it is soaking, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter and golden syrup until smooth.

Remove the gelatine from the water, squeeze it out carefully then place in a small saucepan with the milk. Gently heat until the gelatine has dissolved then set aside to cool slightly before beating into the cream cheese mixture until combined.

Pour the whole lot over the feuilletine layer and return to the fridge to set, leaving for a minimum of two hours.

To finish
Once the cheesecake has set, remove from the fridge and gently remove from the pan.

Using a sharp knife immersed in hot water for a few seconds then dried, trim the edges so you have a smooth finish. Cut the cheesecake into twelve equal sized bars, dipping your knife into the hot water and drying in between each cut to ensure smooth edges.

Spoon the melted chocolate into a piping bag, snip off the end and drizzle over each slice of cheesecake (you could also do this Jackson Pollock style with a spoon). Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle over a few salted peanuts. Repeat with all slices then return to the fridge until ready to serve.

35 RESPONSES TO Chocolate Peanut Butter Feuilletine Cheesecake Bars

  1. Susie @ Fold in the Flour -

    Oh dear me, these look absolutely divine – I love peanut and chocolate and these look a heavenly take on that classic combo!

  2. Oh lordy, how amazing do these look!!! You definitely sound like me. As much as I love my sweets I eat healthily the rest of the time, although to read my blog you wouldn’t know it :D But now, after a healthy dinner I want one of these! I seriously love how you’ve bought a number of recipes together to create these. And I remember hearing about feuilletine constantly on Top Chef Just Desserts. I’m yet to get my hands on any here, but now I think I have to track it down.

  3. Stunning! Far beyond my talents to create [but I'd happily eat it] :)

  4. laura_howtocook -

    I have bought a packet of those brown rice crispies recently but haven’t used them yet. I would love to have a go at making these but am pretty sure my efforts would be a lot more rustic looking than yours! Wonderful recipe x

  5. First question–how to pronounce feuilletine? Second question–where should I look to purchase feuilletine? Third-YUM! This hits all of my favorite tastes, and looks so pretty. Thanks!

  6. They look AWESOME. As thehungrymum says, they look far beyond my abilities but I would love to give them a whirl.

    • Susie – if you like chocolate and peanut butter, this is definitely the recipe for you!

      Jennifer – you have to try it, it’s sooo good :-)

      The Hungry Mum – it’s not difficult to make, I promise!

      Laura – I’m planning to post a brown rice krispie recipe soon – watch this space!

      Kirsten – I think it’s pronounced foy-a-teen. I was sent mine by a company called Sous Chef (www.souschef.co.uk) and it’s not that expensive. And yes, yum is definitely the word!

      Under the Blue Gum Tree – you should!

  7. Erin -

    Oh WOW. How pretty and perfect and delicious looking!

  8. I love the hue of these photographs! and the light is perfect! not to mention how amazing these bars look!

  9. Yup, I can see why brown rice crispies couldn’t compete with feuilletine! These bars look insanely good and full of everything that I love.

    PS thank you for the rice crispy treat shout out!

  10. Seriously amazing – my girlfriend said wow! They look delicious.

  11. Rarely do I feel bummed that I’m gluten free, but reading about feuilletine makes me a bit forlorn. Wow, does that sound good. If you come up with a recipe for making feuilletine at home, I’m going to have to try adapting it. Yum!
    xxoo
    E

    • Erin – thank you.

      Jenny – ah, thank you. The joys of daylight saving and grizzly British weather helped contribute to the darkness of the pics!

      Kathryn – my pleasure, I really do need to try your krispie recipes soon, they look so good.

      Frugal Feeding – so glad you like them!

      Nick – never read blog posts when you’re hungry, it’s the worst kind of torture ;-)

      Erin – Stella at The Brave Tart has a recipe which you could potentially play around with to try and make it gluten free?

  12. These look sublime and absolutely delicious! Not to mention picture perfect! Could you send some my way? :))

  13. Amy -

    Haha I really enjoyed reading this post. Sometimes I do wonder: you have such beautiful, amazing sweets and treats, but what do you eat the rest of the day/week?! If I lived in your house I’m afraid sugar would be the only form of a calorie I’d consume. Props to you for having restraint during the week! And I hadn’t heard about this rice krispy healthy-treat trend… hmmm. I’m glad they were outcompeted by the feuilletine. Good choice with that, because these look divine. ;)

  14. Sacha -

    I almost wish I never saw this…because I want to be eating these immediately. My weekly eating/baking/cooking habits mirror yours exactly. This is my kind of weekend treat. I LOVE feuilletine. And with peanut butter cheesecake? Oh my!

    • Dana – all gone, sorry!

      Rachel – thank you.

      Amy – it’s all about finding the balance, I guess :-)

      Sacha – do you have any other good recipes involving feuilletine? I want to put it in everything now :-)

      • Sacha -

        Unfortunately, I don’t. But every time I’ve have feuilletine in a dessert, I fall back in love with it. I think I need to start working with it!

  15. Tori -

    I swoon. Amazing! Amazing!

  16. I’m crazy for feuilletine! A friend actually gave me a bag of it and I love how crunchy and crispy it stays :)

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  18. daisyandthefox -

    wow!! looks amazing and so yummy!! just like a work of art – wonderful photos too :)
    loving your blog :)

    • Canal Cook – thank you.

      Tori – haha, love the reaction!

      Lorraine – isn’t it AMAZING?

      Daisy – ahh, thank you!

  19. Lisa -

    Oh my goodness… Feuilletine over Rice Krispies for me except in a bowl with milk lol I have pounds of it and I think it’s genius that you used that in lieu of the Rice Krispies, especially since you get more flavor from the caramel undertones. I have to try these..and they look absolutely beautiful! Oh..and speaking of daily eating…part of the reason I don’t blog often. I love making desserts the most. I wouldn’t be abe to resist!!

  20. Laura -

    I wish these were the virtuous treat, they sound soooo good.

  21. Julia -

    Beautiful! I’m noticing a bit of a peanut butter theme over the last month or so, which I definitely approve of :)

  22. Wow…Just…Wow! These are truly stunning. What a fantastic way to improve a peanut butter & chocolate cheesecake. (I never even knew it COULD be improved!) Love the idea of the added layer and added texture. Pinning :)

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  25. oh dear, these look gorgeous! definitely worth all of the steps.

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