I don't use the word "ultimate" lightly. This is the best cheesecake brownie I've ever made OR eaten - and it's so easy to make! I had a cheesecake brownie recipe on my website for a while... and although that was excellent, I kept experimenting with little tweaks. Every week at Coffee & Cake Thursdays, I've got a whole group of people happy to try whatever I'm trying... and I'm now very proud to say I found the exact right recipe, and I'm not going to change it. I've made it on request a few times now, and it's a hit at birthday parties. Adult people will behave like little children at the mere sight of a baking tray with this...
This will make a nice big tray of brownie cheesecake with red fruit (about 12-16 people)
Disclaimer: this is not a "healthy" cake. There's plenty of sugar, butter and cream cheese.
Ingredients for the cheesecake layer
800gr cream cheese (I use 500gr Mascarpone and 300gr Philadelphia cheese, more or less)
250 gr sugar (in my case, granulated raw cane sugar)
Ingredients for the brownie layer
1 cup / 175 gr pure chocolate
1 cup / 120 gr flour (all purpose)
1/2 cup / 120 gr sugar (I use granulated cane sugar)
1/2 cup / 110 gr butter
1 teaspoon of cocoa
One or two pieces of extra chocolate (optional)
How to make the brownie layer
Melt the chocolate (leave a bit out). You can do this au bain marie - I usually preheat the oven with a bowl of chocolate in it.
Mix the softened butter and sugar to a creamy mix. Add the eggs, chocolate and flour one by one - make sure they're well blended in before you mix in the next ingredient.
If you left out some of the chocolate, cut it into chunks and mix them in as well at the end.
How to make the cheesecake layer
Mix the cream cheese with the eggs and the sugar. Until there's (almost) no blobs of cream cheese left.
How to make it even better with red fruit or berry jam
The first one of these I ever tasted, was at a tasting for a wedding cake at Baksels Amsterdam (if you're ever in Amsterdam, go get a slice of their heavenly stuff!). They've got the very best raspberry cheesecake brownie (an excellent way to start a marriage as well). When I still lived in Amsterdam, I would push frozen pieces of red fruit into the cheesecake layer. In a pinch a few weeks ago, I used lingonberry jam (yes, the one from Ikea) and that worked great). Last spring, my friend Sylvia made cherry jam and I used that - and now I just use whatever jam I can lay my hands on. Nice and tasty, lightly sour home made jam works best!
You made the brownie and the cheesecake mix. What now?
The "basic" version of the brownie cheesecake with marmelade (which is pretty festive by itself) goes like this:
- Make the brownie mix, pour it into a well-oiled cookie tray or pie mold (or put baking paper in the cookie tray so you can get it out easily). Put it into the oven at 170 degrees Celsius (350F) for about 10 minutes.
(as you see in the picture below, you can keep a bit of the brownie mix on the side for a marbled effect)
- In the mean time, make the cheesecake mix.
- Get the brownie layer out of the oven; spread a generous serving of jam on top of it, and then gently pour the cheesecake mix on top of that.
(if you kept some of the brownie layer on the side, this is the moment to dribble it into the cheesecake mix; use a fork to create the desired pattern)
- Put it back into the oven for about 35 minutes more.
- After 45 minutes total, try putting a fork into the cake; if your fork comes out sticky and gooey, it needs 5-10 more minutes. It's supposed to stay a bit soft as long as it's hot, but will harden when cooling.
- Put it in the fridge (or a cool place) when it's done, and give it ample time to cool down. This cake is best eaten cold or at least cool - and it falls apart when still hot (so don't get it out of the mould too soon!).
When it's time to serve it, go pick some borage flowers in the garden. They're not only pretty, they're edible too! Use them to decorate your cake with and waw your guests :-)
So... When are you making this at home?