I love doing cheesecakes. Even though people think they are really hard, and impressive–they are a cinch. Just a few tricks and tips will guarantee your success. Once you have the basic formula down you can change flavors and crust and topping to your heart’s content.
This brownie cheesecake was actually an accident. I was trying out a new chocolate cake recipe for Matt’s birthday party (7/24) and the texture of the cake was not what I wanted..too dense to be cake, too dry to be brownie. What to do?
When I took it from the pans it crumbled. I grumbled. And then…
I used one and a half layers for the base of the cheesecake (cake was 8″ round, cheesecake wat 10″ round) and the leftover half I cut in chunks. I poured half the batter in over the crust, sprinkled the cake over it, and covered with the rest of the batter. I did set about 1/2 cup of crumbs aside for the top.
It was really good. There was a nice texture difference between the cheese filling and the brownie. The chocolate and vanilla combination provided a flavor variation and the white/ch0colate was a nice color variation.
Here are some tips for great cheesecake:
- Never whip your ingredients. You want them to be dense. Always mix at low speed with paddles rather than whisks if possible.
- Have all ingredients at room temperature.
- Always use a bain marie (water bath) when baking.
- Bake at a low temperature. 375 for about 45 minutes.
- Turn oven off and leave the door closed. Leave cake in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove from bain marie and allow the cake to cool to room temperature before wrapping tightly and refrigerating overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Chocolate Cake for Base and Brownie Chunks
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 2/3 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Grease and flour 2 8 inch round pans
- Mix flour and baking powder
- Beat sugar and butter until creamy
- Add eggs one at a time
- Add vanilla
- Beat in cocoa
- Add flour and milk alternately, in three parts. Begin and end with flour.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Cool
- 32 oz cream cheese (full fat)
- 16 ozs sour cream
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 eggs
- Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended.
- Add vanilla
- Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition
- Fold in the sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Press one layer or more of the cake in the bottom of a 9-12 inch springform. Make sure the bottom is well covered.
- Pour in half the cheesecake mixture.
- Add crumbled cake chunks, reserving about 1/2 cup crumbs for the top.
- Pour over the rest of the cheesecake.
- Cover the bottom of the springform with aluminum foil, bringing it up the sides.
- Place pan in larger pan of hot water. Water should come halfway up the sides.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Turn oven off and leave door closed for 1 hour. Don’t PEEK!
- Remove from oven, take out of bain marie.
- Let come to room temperature and cover tightly.
- Refrigerate over night.
- Run a knife around sides to loosen
- Remove sides of springform.
- Glaze with ganache glaze if desired. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.