This is a visually impressive cheesecake that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
It all starts off with a really easy to make brownie recipe.
Then you get to the cheesecake which is also one of those one-bowl affairs with little clean-up and fuss.
Together, they make an arresting cheesecake which promises velvety chocolate nestled in a creamy cheesecake bed. The whole thing is then topped off with bittersweet chocolate and a crunchy, buttery base, adding textural and flavour contrast.
Honestly speaking though, I felt that this cheesecake did not live up to its appearance. Sure, it was a pretty decent cheesecake, but its taste did not have the wow factor that I expected. Of course, this could be down to the alterations I made to the recipe (see notes), so feel free to follow the original recipe down to the tee (although I think my alterations were not the reason why I did not like the recipe since my alterations were pretty minor and did not affect the parts I didn’t like).
Still, it’s an easy recipe (for its nature) that yields a pretty cake with a satisfactory taste. The brownie texture matched the cheesecake’s pretty well, so the whole cake was overall pretty harmonious.
I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
Ingredients (makes an 8″ cake)
- 113g unsweetened chocolate/baking chocolate (4 ounces)
- 170g unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
- 350g granulated sugar (1 3/4 cup)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 125g flour (1 cup)
Crumb crust (see notes)
- 284g finely ground cookies of your choice, I used chocolate digestives (10 ounces)
- 142g unsalted butter, melted (10 tbsp)
- 134g sugar (2/3 cup)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 package cream cheese, softened (each packet being 227g or 8 ounces)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 200g sugar (1 cup)
- 2 cups brownie cubes (I definitely used more than this though)
- 85g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (3 ounces)
- 56.7g butter (2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt the chocolate and butter either in a microwave or over a double boiler until the butter is melted. Stir in sugar. Then blend in the eggs and vanilla. Then stir in the flour and salt.
- Butter and line a pan and pour the mixture in.
- Bake at 180°C for 30-35 mins (press the surface and it should spring back. The toothpick test will not work here since the insides are pretty gooey even when it is done).
- Refrigerate the brownies (if you want; it’s easier to cut when it’s cold) and cube into 3/4 to 1 inch squares.
- Stir together and press onto the bottom and up the sides of a buttered springform pan (see notes).
- Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla and sugar, beating until well incorporated.
- Fold in the brownie cubes gently.
- Pour into the crust shell and bake at 180°C for 45 mins, or until when you shake it, it jiggles slightly in the middle (and is set about 1 inch from the edge).
- Let cool in the tin at room temperature. When it is cool to the touch, refrigerate the cheesecake.
- Heat the butter and the cream in a saucepan until the cream just reaches boiling. Take the cream off the heat.
- Pour the hot cream into a bowl containing the chocolate and let sit for a minute. Then stir the whole thing together.
- Add the extract and stir.
- Spread ganache over the cheesecake when still warm.
- Decorate with leftover brownies and random cookie crumbs that fell off and extra ganache.
- Chill cake until ready to serve.
- I really did not like the cookie base I ended up with in this recipe. This could be down to my choice of cookies, since the original recommended chocolate wafers or chocolate teddy grahams and I used chocolate digestives. What I ended up with was waaaaay too oily and crumbly. I recommend very gradually adding your butter until you get the right consistency. Also, I omitted the sugar when making the crust since the cookies were already so sweet.
- When folding the brownie cubes into the cheesecake, just use as many brownie cubes as you want, man. 2 cups is too little (though this could be down to my sucky volume measuring skills. HOW do you measure the volume of uneven objects)
- You WILL end up with extra brownies but is that really a bad thing?
- All the sugar used here is granulated sugar, not caster sugar (which could affect your recipe if you’re measuring by volume)
- I reduced the sugar by 30g for the brownies and 20g for the cheesecake and it turned out fine.
- Don’t worry about baking this cake in a water bath since the chocolate ganache is going to cover your lovingly cultivated crackless top. If you’re the type that gets bothered by cracks, I made this cake and didn’t get a crack in my cheesecake anyway.
- I thought putting the crumbs up the side made the cake really ugly, but that could be down to my personal preference and my (lack of) technique.