Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

This recipe was taken straight from Smitten Kitchen, one of my new favorite food blogs.

Grant has officially declared this his new favorite cheesecake. That's a pretty big deal. He has not wavered from his devotion to my White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake in years. Truth be told, I don't believe he would know which to choose if both were sitting in front of him and he could only have one, but the fact that he even said this one even compares is monumental.

Our guests loved it too...even the guy who doesn't like cheesecakes thought it was awesome.

So, despite the extra steps it takes to make, it is so totally worth it. And you'll only use half of the brownies, so there are lots of leftovers to nibble on discretely. Ha.


Part One: 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
3 eggs
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 for 2 minutes, 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.
*using a pizza cutter to cut the cool brownies worked great!

Part Two: Crumb Crust
1-1/2 cups or 5 ounces finely ground cookies such as Chocolate Teddy Grahams or chocolate chip Teddy Grahams. (I used the latter, only one available. It was delicious.)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 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
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 cups brownie cubes (from recipe above)

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
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken up, or 1/2 cup chocolate morsels
2 ounces butter (personally, I think this could do just fine with 1 oz. butter.)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Scald the butter and cream in a saucepan (or in a Pyrex cup in the microwave). Pour the chocolate in and stir until melted and completely smooth. Add the extract and sugar and stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill until ready to serve.


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