Today is my legal assistant and friend Megan’s birthday….Happy Birthday Megan! I was excited we had an office birthday as I needed an excuse to bake something for the blog. 🙂 Megan suggested a chocolate cheesecake, cake or brownies and so I tried to get creative. I found this Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake recipe over at Smitten Kitchen and knew I had to try it.
At first I tried to get creative and adapt this recipe to try a red velvet brownie recipe I found in a cookbook. I made the brownies and they were not edible. I’m not sure what was wrong with the recipe (yes the recipe and not the person making it) but the order of mixing ingredients was very strange yet I followed the instructions anyways. I figure it will be fun to post about this baking failure so stay tuned. Good thing I bought the ingredients for the backup brownies!! I’m guessing you could use a box, but you want a brownie that will hold up well.
Hope you give this recipe a try as it turned out well and was really an easy cheesecake. I did not use a waterbath and it even came out crack-free…although a little spotted which was just funny looking. Next time I think I will use an oreo crust instead but that will be my only modification. 🙂
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake (by Smitten Kitchen)
Part 1: Brownies
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Baker’s chocolate, optional of course)
- 3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) butter
- 1 3/4 c sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1/2 t salt** (I used salted butter so omitted the salt)
- 1 c flour
- Preheat oven to 350. Line 13×9 in baking dish with foil and grease foil – makes for easy removal and cutting!
- Add butter and chocolate to a medium/large mixing bowl. Microwave for 2 min or until at least the butter is melted. Stir to melt chocolate.
- Mix in sugar then blend in eggs and vanilla.
- Add flour and salt and mix until combined.
- Bake for 30 to 35 min. I made mine in a sheet pan so I cut the baking time down to about 20 min.
- Cool and chill before cutting into 1″ cubes for cheesecake. You will not use the whole recipe so don’t fret – you will have extras to munch on.
Part 2: Crust
- 1 box chocolate teddy grahams (next time I think I will use oreos instead)
- 10 T butter, melted
- 2/3 c sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- This makes a thick crust – cut in half if you don’t enjoy a lot of crust
- Grease a 9″ (24 cm) springform pan
- Crush cookies in food processor – I felt guilty killing all those teddy grahams as they sure were cute – one was even trying to save himself in my food processor (check out pic below).
- Mix in sugar and salt. Add butter and stir to combine.
- Press into springform pan
- Set aside to wait for filling
Part 3: Cheesecake
- 3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 c sugar
- 2 c brownie cubes
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese with mixture until smooth and fluffy.
- Add in eggs one at a time. Scrape down bowl after each addition.
- Mix in vanilla and then sugar, scraping down the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Gently fold in brownie cubes.
- Pour batter into prepared springform pan.
- Place springform pan on a shallow baking dish to catch any drips (mine did not drip but good idea anyways)
- Bake in middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until cake is set 3 inches from edge and center is still a little wobbly when pan is shaken. I think I overbaked mine so will start checking at 40 minutes next time – still tasted good though.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Once cool, top with ganache. Mine came out with brown baking spots all over it so ganache was definitely needed – you can leave it off and the cheesecake will taste great I’m sure.
Part 4: Ganache (I used the simpler 2-ingredient recipe from Barefoot Contessa)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- In the top of a double-boiler stir together cream and morsels until melted
- Spread on top of cheesecake – use extras for something else or whip up with a mixer and use for frosting