Thursday, May 12, 2011

Brownie Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Holy crap I made cheesecake.  And it is delicious.

I've never made cheesecake before, but I saw this recipe and absolutely had to try it.  Having no experience making cheesecake, one might look at this recipe and think I was crazy since it technically has four parts and seems complicated.  But when you break it down, it's just a cheesecake, crust and topping, with some extras mixed into the batter--pretty much like any other cheesecake.

This recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker (Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake) and I followed it just as Michelle listed.  I even took her advice on doubling the crust, resulting in a thick Oreo cookie base for this amazing dessert.  For ingredients, I followed my guide, but I did use 1 brick of fat free and 2 bricks of 1/3 fat cream cheese.  I was pleased that the fat content didn't alter the taste or texture of the cake and I had no cracks or sinking.  And I used semi-sweet chocolate for the ganache instead of bittersweet.

Since this was my first attempt at cheesecake, and I did follow the double crust method, the "corners" of my cheesecake had pretty thick crust.  Next time I'll be more careful to even out the edges of the pan and guide more crumbs to the center.

Begin by making the brownies from scratch.  You could make your own brownies, brownies from a box, or even the Brownies I made a while back.  But these are so simple and perfect for this recipe. You won't use the whole pan, in fact you'll probably only use a quarter of the pan.  You'll have two options for what to do with the leftover brownies.  You can gobble up the rest or you can freeze them and wait a few days for me to tell you another fun dessert you can make.

Brownie Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Ingredients (for the brownies)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

Microwave chocolate and butter in large 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 and mix well.

Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil, ends extending over the edges.  Spray foil with cooking spray.  Pour prepared batter into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out with fudgy crumbs from center.  Don't overbake.  Cool in pan on wire rack, then remove brownies from pan using foil.

Cool brownies completely and cut into 3/4 to 1 inch squares.  You'll use about a 1/4 of the pan to get about 2 cups of brownie squares.  Set aside squares for cheesecake batter and either eat remaining brownies or save for future use.

Ingredients (for the double crumb crust)

3 cups or 10 ounces Oreo cookies
10 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Finely crush Oreos in your food processor. You want fine crumbs, so if you don't have a food processor, a blender might work or the old fashioned way of putting them in a zip-top bag and going at them with a rolling pin or mallet.  Just make sure they are very fine.

Stir together Oreo crumbs, butter, sugar and salt until combined.

Press mixture into the bottom and up 1 inch of the sides of a buttered (or cooking sprayed) 10" springform pan.  Fill with filling (below) immediately or chill for up to 2 hours.

Ingredients (for the cheesecake)

1 8-ounce package fat free cream cheese
2 8-ounce packages 1/3 fat cream cheese
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
(plus about 2 cups of the previously mentioned brownie cubes)

Beat together cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.  After each addition, beat on low until each ingredient is incorporated and scrape sides of bowl between additions.

Gently fold in brownie cubes.

Pour filling into prepared crust in pan.

Place springform pan on a baking pan (to catch drips) and place in middle of the oven.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.

Allow to cool completely.  Remove sides of pan, then slide cake onto serving dish and top with chocolate ganache (below).

Ingredients (for the chocolate ganache)

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar

Finely chop chocolate.  Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium sized mixing bowl.

In a saucepan, scaled the butter and cream (or microwave on high for 1 minute).  Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

Whisk in vanilla and the whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.

Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm.

Chill cheesecake until ready to serve.

Makes 1 cheesecake with 16 slices (and extra brownies).

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

1 comment:

  1. There is always the fear of what if the cake is not enough or doesn’t taste the way we want it to.