Last year Chelle and Annie made this amazing looking cheesecake; once I saw it I knew that I had to make it. Only problem was that I needed a reason to make it. The in-laws were over for dinner last night and I decided that would be the perfect opportunity to make this cheesecake.
This cheesecake consists of 4 parts; fudgy brownies, chocolate cookie crust, rich velvety cheesecake, and a chocolate ganache glaze. Although this recipe had 4 different parts it was no harder than making any other cheesecake, the directions were straight forward and simple to follow. I think that the brownie recipe could be halved, it made double the amount needed for the cheesecake. On the other hand I think the cookie crust should be doubled. It was a perfect crust with lots of butter to help keep it together.
I made the brownies and cheesecake the first day, then I placed the cooled baked cheesecake in the fridge overnight to set up. The next morning I made and topped the cheesecake with the ganache glaze and stored it in the fridge for a few hours to set the chocolate.
This cheesecake was outstanding. With all the chocolate involved one would think it would be overly rich and indulgent but it really was not. The cheesecake was smooth and velvety with the perfect amount of richness. I will definitely make this cheesecake again, especially if I am looking for a dessert to impress.
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake
As seen on Annie's Eats and Brown Eyed Baker; originally from Smitten Kitchen
For the Brownies
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
13/4 cups sugar
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 2 min. 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 (be careful not to over bake). 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.
For the Crumb Crust
(if you like a lot of crust, go ahead and double this)
11/2 cups or 5 ounces finely ground Oreos, or other chocolate cookie
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Stir together ingredients and press into bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 10″ springform pan. Fill right away or chill for up to 2 hours.
For the Cheesecake
3 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Make crumb crust as directed above for 10-inch cheesecake. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat together cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla, 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.
For the Ganache Glaze
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium size mixing bowl. Scald the butter and cream together in a saucepan (or in the 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 then whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm.
Chill the cheesecake until ready to serve.