I am so pleased to finally be able to post my first recipe. It’s taken longer than planned to get this up (as does pretty much everything in my toddler-centered-life) but here it is in all it’s glory. And is it ever glorious. My husband said this is the best cake he’s ever eaten (I know he’s biased, but it’s nice to please your home crowd)!
Cheesecake and brownies have always been a good pair in my book. I loved the cream cheese brownies my mom used to make when I was a kid. (Although I rarely got to eat many of them – she always seemed to be taking them to work.) I was reminded of the combination a few months ago when I made a crust-less cheesecake with some chunks of brownie in it. It was good, but not amazing. However, the combination got me thinking, what about a cheesecake with a crust of brownie?
It sounded fantastic, but how to make it? After much mental test baking, I decided that the best way would be to bake the brownies first and then put the cheesecake on top and bake it all again. However, I was worried about what the double baking would do to the brownies. Would I just have a dry crunchy base? When it came to baking morning I nearly didn’t try.
But I’m so glad I did.
The result is Cheesecake Millicent: a dark, dense brownie bottom, with a light, smooth cheesecake top. The first bite is half silky cheesecake and half moist chocolatey brownie essence, because (luckily!) the twice baked brownie packs even more flavor into each bite than a normal brownie. And if you have some left over for another day you’ll notice that it’s possibly even more amazing – that brownie just gets denser and richer.
(N.B. I’m not one to worry about cracked cheesecakes. It still tastes amazing.)
Here’s the recipe:
Brownies or Fudge Squares, adapted from the 1931 Joy of Cooking (this is the recipe that started me off on the idea of this blog.)
4 & 1/2 oz. butter (= 9 T)
9 T cocoa powder
1 & 1/4 C sugar
1 & 1/2 t vanilla extract
3/4 C all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease a round spring form pan. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and add the cocoa powder. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Turn off the heat. Add sugar and vanilla, then mix. Add eggs and mix them in. Finally add flour and mix until well combined. Pour into the greased pan and bake for about 24 minutes until the brownies are cooked but still a little gooey. A tester toothpick should have gooey crumbs on it.
Cool the brownies in the pan on a rack. While they are cooling make the following:
Cheesecake, adapted from Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition
1 lbs & 5 oz. cream cheese (=600g)
3/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract
Turn the oven down to 300F/150C.
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Whisk the cream cheese in a bowl until it’s well mixed and a little fluffy. (At the beginning all of the cream cheese will clump in the whisk. Push it out with a knife and keep whisking. Eventually it will stop clumping and you’ll be able to whisk it vigorously to make it fluffy.) Whisk in the sugar and vanilla followed by the eggs, whisking each egg in as it’s added. Pour this mixture on top of the brownies (they should be warm to the touch but not hot. I cooled them for about half an hour). Bake until set. The middle should not jiggle when you shake the pan. About 45 minutes.
Cool and serve. Or cool and refrigerate. I recommend letting the cake warm up a bit before serving.
As you have to bake it twice, this is a more complicated recipe than I would usually recommend, but it’s well worth it; and you only need one ‘bowl’ for each part so it’s pretty low on washing up. You’ll note that the cheesecake recipe is not based on an old recipe, but the recipe for cheesecake in the 1931 Joy uses cottage cheese and I just can’t go there (lumpy cheesecake scares me!).