Peanut Butter Filling:
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (240 ml) peanut butter, creamy or chunky
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (contains 36-40% butterfat)
4 ounces (120 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (contains 36-40% butterfat)
1 tbsp (13 grams) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
Chopped Salted Peanuts
1. Chocolate Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. (A 9 inch spring form pan can be used.)
2. In a large bowl, mix together the chocolate crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. (If using a spring form pan, press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and about one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan.) Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
3. Peanut Butter Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well blended and smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract. In a clean bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling over the cooled chocolate crust and smooth the top. Cover loosely and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until firm.
4. Ganache: Melt the chocolate, cream, and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature and then spread the ganache over the peanut butter filling. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The Peanut Butter Pie will keep about one week in the refrigerator. Serve in small slices.