Monday, April 9, 2012
I've been on quite the cheesecake binge as of late, I really can't explain it. Granted, cheesecake is my favorite dessert and one of my favorite foods, but even then. In the last month, I've made both salted caramel cheesecake bars and oreo cheesecake bars, and I've failed to blog about either one of them. And in between, there has been many a cheesecake from this and that bakery. Now though, in honor of Easter (not that I actually celebrate Easter, I just wanted to justify baking yet another cheesecake ;) ), I bring you Brown Eyed Baker's Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake!! The name should really say it all. I mean c'mon, cheesecake with brownies mixed in? You've seen my post on brownies with cheesecake mixed in, an all-time favorite in our house. So, this is basically the inverse, and it is nothing but decadent, delightful, sublime to the point of inducing a trance. Yes, really-it is all that. Just use the best quality ingredients possible. Actually, after having baked so many cheesecakes at home, I have become much less inclined to eat them from bakeries. So maybe, maybe making them at home has turned out to be a good thing, no?
This recipe is actually very simple, in spite of comprising 4 spearate steps. The brownies are actually the easiest I've made, coming together in just one bowl. They are excellent, without a doubt, though next time I would try Ina's brownies-by far the most fudgy, most dense brownies to date (the ones I used in the cheesecake brownies in fact).
One word: this cheesecake really is best cold, with its ganache topping and the fudgy brownies, unlike most other cheesecakes, which taste best at room temperature.
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake (slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker):
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter (or 1.5 sticks)
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and grease.
Microwave butter and chocolate on 50% power until butter in completely melted (about 2 minutes in my microwave). Stir the chocolate vigorously until melted. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Then, blend in the eggs, followed by the flour and salt. Spread brownie batter into prepared pan.
Bake brownies for 30-35 minutes, but start checking after 25 minutes (mine were done in about 28). A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with fudgy crumbs. Cool them completely. Then, cut them into 3/4 to 1 inch squares, and set aside 2 cups of the squares for the cheesecake. Enjoy the rest :)
*Note-I made, and highly recommend double the crust. I'm giving the proportions for double below, but feel free to half the recipe if you prefer.
10 oz. finely ground oreos (I actually used 365 brand chocolate sandwich cookies)
10 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
3 tbsp. granulated sugar(I significantly cut down since the cookies are very sweet)
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients and press onto the bottom of and 1" up the sides of a 10" springform pan. Fill immediately, or set in the fridge for upto 2 hours.
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
Make sure oven is preheated. Beat cream cheese and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Then add vanilla. Start adding the eggs on low speed, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Scrape the bowl in-between as needed.
Gently fold in the brownie cubes into the batter, and pour batter on top of oreo crust in the springform pan. Bake in the oven with a water bath for about 55 minutes, until the cheesecake is set 3" from center, but still jiggles in the middle when shaken. Let it cool completely.
Step 4-Ganache Topping
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted butter (or 1/2 stick)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
Place chopped chocolate in medium-sized bowl. Scald butter and cream in microwave for 1 minute on high, watching carefully to make sure they don't boil over. Pour cream mixture over chocolate in bowl, and stir vigorously until chocolate is melted. Whisk in vanilla and sugar until thoroughly combined. Pour warm ganache over cool cheesecake. Chill cheesecake until serving time.
Posted by Ameya at 8:16 AM