Finally, a cheesecake I am in love with! I love dessert, but cheesecake is not one of my favorites. The minute I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, however, I knew I must make it. The thought of brownies mixed in the cheesecake batter and the chocolate cookie crust made me think that this would be different. I certainly did not regret it! This is the best cheesecake I have ever eaten, hands down. It kind of reminds me of the Black Bottom Brownies I made a little while ago. I usually think that the cream cheese flavor in most cheesecakes is too overpowering, but in this recipe it was perfect, and it was perfectly balanced with the brownie bits. I decided to use chocolate graham crackers in the crust, which in my opinion was a great choice. I went with Deb’s suggestion of doubling the crust. All too often I think that the crust in cheesecake is way too thin, but I agree that a double crust is the best way to enjoy a cheesecake. So I think that I will always double the crust in cheesecakes from now on 🙂
I made this for dessert when some friends came over. It was the perfect dessert to serve, and I can’t wait to enjoy another piece! This is a great dessert to serve to dinner guests or to make for another special occasion. It’s not very difficult to make, and you can make certain components the day before. I also followed Deb’s advice and refrigerated the brownies for a couple of hours before I cut them. I had a lot of brownie bits left over, but I’m planning on making some ice cream soon and using them as add-ins. I am in love with this cheesecake. You should definitely make it 🙂
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake (Source: Smitten Kitchen)
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake
Adapted wildly from A Piece of Cake, by Susan G. Purdy via Eat
Part One: One Bowl Brownies
Adapted from Baker’s One Bowl Brownies
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Baker’s chocolate, optional of course)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 3/4cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles.
Cool brownies, then cut* them into 3/4- to 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake. You will have more than the two cups of cubes, loosely measured, than you will need, and I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to decide for yourself what to do with the extra. Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.
* I find that brownies are fantastically easy to cut once they’ve been refrigerated-you end up with nice clean lines, and in this case, a sharp pizza wheel was especially helpful. Also, brownies taste better cold. I’m just saying.
Part Two: Crumb Crust
Recipe adapted from Gourmet, 1999
I like a doubled crumb crust. I can’t get enough cookie. Below are proportions for one crust with the amounts to double the recipe in parentheses. You know you wanna.
1 1/2 cups or 5 ounces (3 cups or 10 ounces to double) finely ground cookies such as chocolate wafers. Or Chocolate Teddy Grahams. (I used chocolate graham crackers)
5 tablespoons (10 tablespoons to double) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (2/3 cup to double) sugar
1/8 (1/4 teaspoon to double) teaspoon salt
Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.
Part Three: Cheesecake
Three Cities of Spain Coffeehouse
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
Make crumb crust as directed above for 24-centimeter cheesecake. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make filling and bake cake: Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
Fold brownie cubes in very gently and pour mixture into prepared pan. Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.
When completely cool, top with following glaze.
Part Four: Ganache Glaze
From Purdy’s original recipe
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken up, or 1/2 cup chocolate morsels
2 oz. butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
Grind the chocolate into powder in the food processor, scald the butter and cream in a saucepan (or in a Pyrex cup in the microwave). With the machine running, pour the hot cream/butter mixture slowly through the feed tube onto the chocolate. Blend until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down sides once or twice. Add the extract and sugar and process until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill until ready to serve.