Sunday, March 20, 2016

Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake

Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 146.

After finally getting all my pots and pans organized and the new kitchen in order, I am finally ready to do some baking.  There have been lots of rainy days and the weather has been perfect for staying inside. Regardless of what you may have heard about the Pacific Northwest, there have been some nice sunny days as well! 

In addition to getting used to where all my equipment is located (I am still not totally comfortable with where everything is yet), I also now have a gas stove. We had an electric stove at our former house in Alabama. I have not really had a problem with it though and it seems to perform just like the old one.

We had our friends in Portland over a few nights ago and I decided to make a cheesecake to celebrate our move and our new home. I chose the Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake because it sounded delicious and it is one of the choices in the baking group that I mentioned in the previous post.

This is a recipe that Maida Heatter devised after she told her husband she was making Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies and he said "Why not Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake"? 

It is very good! I forgot to buy nuts so I omitted those from the brownies and it was fine. 

First, make the brownies:

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3 TBS. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp. powdered instant coffee
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/2 oz. (1 cup) walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 8-inch square pan with foil. Melt a tablespoon of butter and brush it on the foil.
Sift together the flour and cocoa.

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and the butter, stirring occasionally. Stir in the coffee, vanilla and salt. Add the sugar and the eggs (one at a time).

Add the sifted ingredients to the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the nuts.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Then place the pan in the freezer until the cake is very firm.
Remove the cake from the pan after it has frozen completely. Cut the cake into quarters - set aside one quarter (you will not be using it) and cut the remaining 3 quarters into small cubes. Return to the freezer.

The Cheesecake:

2 lbs. Philadelphia cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8x3 inch one-piece cheesecake pan. Wrap the pan with aluminum foil.

Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add the vanilla, salt and sugar. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix only until incorporated.

Pour a little of the mixture into the pan, just enough to cover about 1/2 inch on the bottom.

Remove the brownie chunks from the freezer and gently gold them to the remaining cream cheese mixture.

Add the remaining mixture to the pan and smooth the top. Sit the cheesecake pan into a larger pan. Add about 1 1/2 inches of hot water to the larger pan.
Bake for 75 to 90 minutes. During the baking process, the top of the cake will rise and turn slightly brown. The hardest part to baking a cheesecake is judging whether or not it is done. One method is to jiggle the pan and observe the middle. It should jiggle slightly. The best way to do it is to use a thermometer. The internal temperature should be 160. Cool on a cooling rack and let it stand for 2-3 hours until the bottom of the pan is completely cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
For the crust, Maida employs her usual method of removing the cake from the pan, flipping it, and applying dry crumbs to the bottom. Trust me on this - it is a mess and a terrible way to do it. I always make the crust by the modern method (mixing crumbs with butter and pre-baking). However, a confession. This time, I forgot to do that and ended up serving the cake without any crust at all. It was fine without it.


Emily said...

OMG! Phillip, four members of the group baked this too! This looks scrumptious. Did you use the graham cracker crumbs in the end?

Hazel said...

Hello Philip! This cheesecake looks fabulous.. This is how I imagined it to be but alas, mine sucked and to be honest I really wish it hadn't when I see this. The taste was there but I like a cake I can look at too! Here's to next month! Hazel x

Phillip Oliver said...

Thanks Hazel!

Phillip Oliver said...

Emily, I forgot to add the info about the crust and went back and ammended it. I do not like her method for the bread crumbs.

Emily said...


Most of us actually only used the butter and bread crumbs ONCE and went straight back to butter and flour method. And no way, will I attempt to flip any cheesecake (baked or no baked) once or twice - just to get the crust on those bottoms!

rebecca said...

It was divine!

OvenDelights said...

Welcome to our group Philip! I'm glad the cake was a success! Welcome!

Laura@ Baking in Pyjamas said...

Your cheesecake looks lovely and gooey. Welcome to the group Philip.

Gina said...

Your cheesecake looks wonderful Philip, a perfect texture unlike mine. I did the flip over and add the crumbs later which was just plain messy. Certainly wouldn't bother again. Welcome to the group!