Saturday, July 20, 2013

New York Cheesecake Brownies

New York Cheesecake Brownies - made July 13, 2013 from Rosie's Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book by Judy Rosenberg
This may be the closest thing you'll see to a cheesecake on my blog - on a brownie.  I don't like cheesecake so I don't make it.  The closest I come to it is in a brownie like this one.  And I probably wouldn't have made this one except I had a Costco block of cream cheese to use up.  I added the mini chocolate chips to the cheesecake layer to give it more chocolate and dress it up a little so it wouldn't just be a plain two-tone bar.
Considering I don't make cheesecake, I think this one turned out pretty well from a "technical bake" standpoint.  The key to baking cheesecakes is to bake at a low temperature to cook the cheesecake layer slowly and properly to keep the creamy texture it's supposed to have.  If it puffs and cracks, it might be overdone.  I admit, mine did puff up towards the end and had a big crack near the middle but when I took it out and let it cool, the puffiness deflated and the crack subsided so you couldn't really see it in the top layer anymore.  This wasn't very sweet but it was rich as cheesecakes tend to be.  I recommend cutting into small pieces.
Brownie
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used 4 ounces)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake
1 pound cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the brownie: Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water.  Whisk until smooth and combined. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Place the sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow, 2 minutes.  Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add the flour on low speed and mix for 5 seconds.  Scrape the bowl.
  5. Add the cooled chocolate mixture on low speed and blend until mixed, 15 seconds, stopping the mixer once to scrape the bowl.  Do not overmix.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. Do not skip this step. 
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake topping: Place all the cheesecake ingredients except mini chocolate chips in a food processor and process until smooth, 1 minute.  Stop the machine once during the process to scrape the bowl.  Add mini chocolate chips, if using.
  8. Remove the pan from the freezer.  Carefully spoon the cheesecake mixture over the brownie layer, and, using a spatula, spread it over the brownie in an even layer, being careful not to mix the two layers together.
  9. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the top is set and the center is just about level with the edges, 1 hour and 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Cool the brownies in the pan for 30 minutes. Lift out of the pan using the foil ends.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares with a sharp knife.  Wipe the knife between cuts with a damp paper towel.  If not consuming immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

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