Sunday, 15 December 2013

Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake


Now here's a recipe that might just break the internet...


This came about when I was taking desserts to a family gathering (I see you sensing a theme from previous posts). Occasions like this are always a fun opportunity to experiment with new recipes and to go a little crazy, as I know my relatives will appreciate and give very satisfying reactions to my efforts, no matter how successful they are. One of my most outlandish creations to date, but definitely one of the most fun to construct, this dessert went down a storm.



I'm sure you've seen stuff like this around on your Pinterest wanderings before, the invention of some crazy genius American who thought that a squidgy brownie or a nice slice of cheesecake just wasn't quite enough on its own to satisfy that sweet sweet craving. If there wasn't enough sugar for you then, then follow my beautiful example and sandwich this monstrosity and top it with a rich ganache. WARNING: copious amounts of this pudding may well kill you...





Make two brownie layers (do this first!), slap a vanilla bean cheesecake in the middle, using ganache as a rich chocolately glue, and top with more of the shining goodness. Lush.





Recipe for ganache can be found here


Chocolate Brownie

200g dark chocolate, chopped (at least 70% cocoa solids)
150g butter, plus extra for greasing
125g dark muscovado sugar
125g caster sugar
4 eggs
85g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Grease and line two 8 or 9'' baking tins, or tins the same size as your cheesecake.
2. In a bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water!), melt the chocolate and butter. Remove once melted to cool slightly.
3. Whisk the sugars into the chocolate and butter mixture, then add the eggs and mix again.
4. Sift dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture until just combined. Do not over mix.
5. Divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins. A knife inserted should come out with some crumbs attached, as the brownies will continue to cook a little once removed from the oven and you want your brownies to be squidgy and fudgey, rather than dry and crumbly.
6. Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tins, then remove to cool on a wire rack and let cool completely.




Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

900g cream cheese
200g caster sugar
200ml soured cream
3tbsp plain flour
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk, all lightly beaten
Beans from one vanilla pod (you can use 1tsp vanilla extract instead)

1. After making the brownie layers, reduce the oven down to gas mark 2. Grease and line a 8 or 9'' springform cake tin (make sure it is the same diameter as the tins you use to make the brownies, so everything is the same size).
2. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, add the sour cream and flour and mix again util combined. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, mixing slowly and gently, mixing well after each addition. Do not whisk as this will incorporate too much air and will increase the likelihood of cracks in your cheesecake when it bakes.
3. Pour the cream cheese mix into the prepared tin and bake until set (NOTE: the original recipe said to bake for 45 minutes, but mine took more like and hour and 15). The cheesecake should be just set with a slight wobble in the middle, and a slight golden colouring around the edges. For more detailed assistance, I'd suggest consulting google or youtube!
4. Once the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool. Remove only once completely cool.
5. Remove the cheesecake when it is completely cool and you are ready to assemble your dessert.





Assembly

1. Once everything is completely cool, you can assemble your dessert. Remove any linings or papers.
2. Place one brownie top side down on a serving plate. Spread a little chocolate ganache that has been cooled so it's thick onto the brownie. Place the cheesecake on top of the brownie. Spread a little more ganache on top of the cheesecake.
3. Place the second brownie top side up on the cheesecake.
4. Warm remaining ganache in the microwave until pourabe but not hot, then pour over the top of the brownie cake, letting it run down the sides.
5. Store in the fridge until ready to serve, and keep any leftovers there, too.

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