This year for Christmas I had a special request from my brother. Cheesecake. Well, I had never made a whole cheesecake, so I brought my tush to the store, bought myself a springform pan and started searching for recipes, I needed a pro to help me out. Enter Smitten Kitchen.
Smitten Kitchen is my favorite food blogger. She makes great cakes (well, she makes great everything) so I knew she would be my gal. Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake was the one. Cheesecake with a chocolate crumb crust, brownies baked INSIDE the cheesecake and a chocolate ganache topping. Done. Done. Done.
RECIPE BELOW, GET BAKING!
Yields 1- 9 inch Cheesecake
FOR THE BROWNIES /
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 / Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.
2 / Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until butter and chocolate are completely melted..
3 / Stir the sugar into the butter/ chocolate mixture until completely incorporated.
4 / With an electric hand mixer, blend in eggs and vanilla.
5 / Slowly add flour and salt to the mixture and mix well.
6 / Spread into prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs.
7 / Cool brownies completely before cutting to add to the cheesecake.
8 / When brownies are completely cool (I sped up the process by placing them in the freeze for a bit). When they are completely cool, they will slice nicely with a knife or a pizza cutter. Cut them into ¾ inch squares for use in the cheesecake.
You will have more brownie cubes than the recipe calls for.
FOR THE CRUMB CRUST /
3 cups Chocolate Teddy Grahams (1- 10 oz box) - If you can’t find Chocolate Teddies, you can use a chocolate wafer cookie or Chocolate Graham Cracker
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
⅔ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 / Finely crush the Teddy Grahams (or cookies)
2 / Stir together all of the above ingredients until all the ingredients are evenly distributed with each other.
3 / Butter the sides and bottom of your 9-inch springform pan.
4 / Press the mixture into the bottom of your springform pan and 1 inch up side. You can fill right away with the cheesecake or chill up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
FOR THE CHEESECAKE /
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 cups brownie cubes
1 / Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 / Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy.
3 / Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
4 / Add the vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
5 / Very gently fold in the brownie cubes you baked (and cooled) earlier.
6 / Place the springform pan in a shallow baking pan. (This is to catch drips, don’t forget to do this, I did and it made a mess in the oven!)
7 / Pour mixture into prepared pan with chocolate crumb crust you prepared earlier.
8 / Bake the cheesecake 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.
Do not take the cake out before the exterior 3 inches look like they are set. It may begin to bubble and brown on the top, but no worries, we are going to cover it with chocolate ganache! Finished cake is more important than the 45 minute time .
FOR THE GANACHE /
½ cup chocolate morsels
2 ounces butter
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. confectioners sugar
1 / Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Make sure the sauce pan is COMPLETELY dry before you begin adding the ingredients. When water gets into the chocolate during the melting process, it doesn’t break down properly. Believe me, I learned this the hard way!
2 / Stir in the heavy cream and confectioners sugar and stir until well combined.
3 / Remove the saucepan from heat, and let settle for about 2 minutes.
4 / Carefully spoon and evenly spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled cheesecake.
5 / Allow the chocolate to firm in the refrigerator. Refrigerate the cheesecake until time to be served.
This cake was absolutely amazing. I urge you to make sure it is set 3 inches in before you take it out, the center of my cake was a bit underdone, but still tasted amazing. I got so many compliments on this baby, someone even said that it looked like it came from a professional bakery (yay me!). The base of this cheesecake is divine, and I wil surely use it again and bake other things INTO it. The brownies were also ace, and uber easy, so save that recipe!
Have you ever baked things INTO a cheesecake? I may be obsessed, what should I do next?