Monday, January 9, 2012

Chocolate Covered Brownie Bottom Cheesecake


If your New Years Resolution involved cutting back on calories and losing a few pounds, I recommend clicking away from this page. Immediately. If, however, you are like me and realize that committing to never eating chocolate again would be an exercise in futility, by all means, continue reading.

This, my friends, is a serious dessert. It is the definition of decadence. My initial inspiration for this cheesecake was this Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Layer Cake over at Annie's Eats. My thought process went something like this: "Wow, that's such a beautiful cake. But I don't really like raspberries. Oh, but you know what I do like? Cheesecake. How about if I cover a cheesecake with chocolate glaze. Oh, oh, and what if I bake said cheesecake on top of a rich and fudgy brownie, instead of your typical graham cracker crust?" And thus, the idea for this cheesecake was born.

To date I have made this cheesecake three times, and each time it has disappeared within a mater of minutes. In fact, I got only the tiniest of slivers when I took it to a family reunion a few months ago. So, if you're like me, and you haven't sworn off sweets for the New Year, please try this cheesecake. You can thank me later.

Chocolate Covered Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
brownie adapted from: Baking Illustrated; cheesecake adapted from: America's Test Kitchen; chocolate glaze adapted from: The Pastry Queen via Annie's Eats

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 large eggs
5 3/4 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 3-inch cheesecake pan. I have this one in several sizes, and love them, but feel free to use a springform pan if that's what you have. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
2. Combine bittersweet chocolate, butter, and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-low power in 30 second intervals, stirring with each interval, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa powder and instant espresso powder until thoroughly dissolved. Set aside to cool briefly.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Finally, gently whisk in flour until thoroughly incorporated.
4. Spread batter even into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Brownies should be set, but still slightly undercooked when removed from the oven. Allow to cool thoroughly, at least one hour, before proceeding.

2 1/2 pounds (5-8 ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
10 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ounces sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature

1. Move one oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut cream cheese into 1-inch chunks and beat at low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until very smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and beater blade.

2. Whisk together sugar and salt. With your mixer still on low, add sugar to cream cheese in thirds, scraping down the bowl and beating for 30 second - 1 minute with each addition.

3. Add sour cream or yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down beater blade and bowl.
4. With mixer on low, add eggs two at a time, then add egg yolks, to the cream cheese mixture. After eggs have been added, thoroughly scrape down sides of bowl and beater blade, and mix on low for 1 minute.
 5. Slowly pour cheesecake mixture over cooled brownies. Depending on the size of your pan, you may not be able to fit all cheesecake mixture, but you can fill the pan up nearly to the top. Allow batter to settle for a couple minutes before placing the pan in the oven. I like to gently tap or agitate the pan to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the top and escape.
 6. Place the cheesecake pan on a rimmed cookie sheet and place on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 250 degrees without opening the oven door. Continue to bake until the cake is set, but the middle still wobbles when gently shaken, approximately 1 hour. (Please note that ovens vary, and thus this step may take more or less time. I recommend that you check for doneness at 45 minutes, but do not be surprised if it takes up to 1 hour 15 minutes for your cake to set.)
7. Once the cake is set, turn off the oven and crack the door slightly. Allow the cake to cool for an hour inside the oven, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Run a very thin knife around the edge of the cake when it is cool enough to handle. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill, uncovered, for at least six hours, preferably overnight.

Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Combine chocolate and whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl. I like to use a glass Pyrex measuring cup, as it has a spout that will facilitate pouring. Heat on medium-low heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. DO NOT ALLOW MIXTURE TO BOIL. Whisk in the corn syrup and vanilla extract until thoroughly incorporated.
2. Unmold the chilled cheesecake and slowly pour on the glaze, completely covering the top and slightly tilting cake to allow chocolate to drip down the sides. Allow glaze to set up, at least 15 minutes.

Whipped Ganache
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted, room temperature

1. Combine chocolate and whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium-low heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. DO NOT ALLOW MIXTURE TO BOIL. Allow chocolate to cool slightly, and them whisk in butter until incorporated.
2. Allow mixture to thicken to piping consistency. This may take several minutes. You may wish to place the ganache in the refrigerator or freezer to speed cooling, but be sure to whisk the mixture and check consistency at least every 10 minutes.
3. Transfer thickened ganache into a piping bag fitted with either a large open or closed star tip, depending on the pattern that you desire. Pipe ganache on top of cake in desired pattern.
4. Optional: For additional decoration, place fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries) atop each ganache peak.

Linked to: Crazy Sweet TuesdayTasty TuesdaysTrick or Treat Tuesdays, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday; What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Fusion Friday


  1. OMG! I think I just gained back the 12lbs I have lost! That looks SOOOOO good!!!!

  2. This is cheesecake is amazing...simply AMAZING!!!! I want a huge piece right now for breakfast!!! Thank you so much for sharing on Trick or Treat Tuesdays.

  3. That. Is. Amazing! WOW! Beautiful too. I'd love for you to share it on Crazy Sweet Tuesday today!

  4. What a beautiful cake!! I found you at Trick or Treat Tuesday - so glad I did. Yum! Happy to be your newest follower. Can't wait to see what else you bake in 2012!

  5. Thanks Susan! I hope to share many more sweet treats throughout the year!

  6. Hi Angie! new year's resolution does not involve nixing chocolate! This looks amazing! I've made cheesecake brownies before, but a creation of this magnitude? Impressive!

  7. Oh my gosh that cheesecake looks intense! It looks like a lot of work but I bet the end results are most definitely worth it. Your family is very lucky to have a gorgeous cake like that show up at the reunion!

  8. That cheesecake looks amazing...and beautiful...and delicious. Chocolate and cheesecake are just perfect together!

  9. Oh, my! This is one very special cheesecake! It looks fabulous! I just made a lemon cheesecake and will be posting in the 19th. It seems everyone loves cheesecake.

    So nice stopping by to visit with you!
    Kindly, Lorraine

  10. found you on sweet tooth friday! so amazing! looks delicious and is beyond gorgeous

  11. This looks amazing! I would love it if you shared your recipe here:

  12. What a beautiful dessert. It look so fantastic. Great pictures. Come visit us today. We have a wonderful banana bread recipe to share.

  13. This looks absolutely amazing!!!

  14. Outrageous cake!
    It looks amazing, and it sounds delicious

  15. I made this for our football party this weekend and everyone loved it! We even had one friend take a piece home and he called in the morning to say he woke up at 3am and ate the cheesecake before going back to bed! thanks for sharing this amazing cheesecake!

  16. Heather - I'm so glad everyone enjoyed the cake! It really does make a great breakfast. :)

  17. How incredible! Thanks for linking up with me for Friday Favorites! I'm featuring you this week! Come by and grab my featured button if you'd like one.

  18. I could go into a chocolate coma with this one. How delish. You made it into the Top 5 for last week's Sweets for a Saturday!

  19. Yummy! This is fabulous.. can't wait to make it.

  20. Oh wow, oh wow!!!! I may never leave your blog, this is fantastic, pinned and have added to my must make list. You're a girl after my own heart (stomach really.)