To be honest with you, this was totally not planned. It just happened, you know?
It was a glorious Thursday afternoon and I had just come home from a 5k run. After taking a quick dip in the pool, I decided to dig through the fridge to find something to replenish my energy. A bowl of quinoa and lentils later, I felt like a goddess. To be completely and utterly honest with you all, this is not me everyday. The girl who exercises diligently and eats nutritiously? That’s me, occasionally. Sometimes I get out of bed at 10 and subsist on potato crisps. Other days I thrive on green smoothies and noodle bowls. It’s called balance.
To balance out the extremely healthy lunch I had, I decided to go for a snack. That snack in particular was cookie dough. You see, I visited England a couple of years ago, and no trip is complete without a trip to Pizza Hut. A gazillion bottomless sodas later, it came time to order dessert. The warm chocolate chip cookie dough looked irresistible and I promise you, it was everything I could have ever wanted and more. It’s absolutely genius, underbaking your cookies such that the top is a hard cookie shell, and the bottom is warm, gooey, decadent cookie dough. I think it’s simply marvellous and it is for this reason that I have decided to share this with you today.
Ooey Gooey Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- 2 cups cookie dough, homemade or storebought
- ¾ cup chocolate chips (omit if you have chocolate chip cookie dough on hand)
- ¼ cup Smarties or any other chocolate candy
- Vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce for serving
Grease 4 ramekins and preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. Prepare your cookie dough and add to a medium bowl. Add the chocolate chips and the Smarties and use a rubber spatula to fold into the dough, making sure the candies are evenly distributed. Add ½ cup of cookie dough to each ramekin and bake 8 minutes, or until the dough has risen and is just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes before topping with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. Indulge immediately!
Have I lost my mind? Maybe so. I’ve been buried 6 feet deep in chocolate dreams and I was itching to manifest my daydreams of hot fudge sauce and creamy mousse into an actual dish.
So after many hours of scouring Pinterest and Instagram, I finally came up with this. I had felt so inspired by this recipe for Seriously Fudgy Homemade Brownies by Sally’s Baking Addiction and I just knew that I had to try them. I fell in love with this recipe and decided that it would be the starting point for the massive project idea I was working on.
I knew I wanted something with the texture of a mousse but I felt like going for a chocolate mousse would be too much and an icing wouldn’t be enough. And thus the vanilla cheesecake idea came about.
Most people would have stopped there and said “This is good. I have cheesecake. I have brownie. Uh brownie cheesecaaaaake!” Not me. Never. Always got to take it from 0-100. So I topped it with hot fudge sauce, brownies and more melted chocolate because TREAT YO’SELF.
What even are New Years Resolutions? After this cake, I don’t even remember. This would make a decadent Valentines Day present for your boo-thang or even as a celebratory single cake for you and your girls on a night in! Grab a glass of milk, unbutton your jeans and fall into a heavenly chocolate bliss with this cake!
Chocolate Lover’s Fudge Brownie Cheesecake
For the brownies:
- 3/4 cup butter
- 100g of coarsely chopped cooking chocolate, divided in half
- 1 and ½ cups castor sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp espresso powder, dissolved in 3 tbsp water
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 and ¼ cups self raising flour
- 1 tsp salt
For the cheesecake:
- 16 ounces/430 g of full fat cream cheese at room temperature (this makes it easier to blend into the other ingredients and prevent lumps)
- ½ cup castor sugar
- ½ cup sour cream, may substitute plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- Hot fudge sauce
- about 50g of dark chocolate, melted
- grated dark chocolate for garnish
Start by preparing the brownies + brownie base
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly grease a 9 inch springform pan. Grease and line a 6×6 square pan with parchment paper.
- Add the butter and half the chopped chocolate to a large microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each round, until completely melted. Whisk in the sugar and stir until absorbed by the butter. Add the eggs, vanilla essence and dissolved espresso and stir until completely incorporated.
- Sieve in the cocoa powder, flour and salt and use a rubber spatula to fully blend together. Drop the remaining half of the chopped chocolate into the thick batter, and stir gently to distribute.
- Spoon half of the brownie batter in the springform pan and smooth into an even layer, using the back of a spoon. Spoon the remaining half into the square pan, making sure to also smooth it into an even layer. The batter in the springform pan will form the brownie base of the cheesecake whilst the brownies baked in the rectangular pan will be used for decoration.
- Bake in the preheat oven for between 20 and 25 minutes (mine takes about 23 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs (it shouldn’t be wet). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. The batter in the springform pan will be used for the base of the cheesecake and the ones in the rectangular pan will be used for decoration.
Then prepare the cheesecake layer:
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Spoon the cream cheese into a large bowl and use a handheld electric whisk to beat until smooth, creamy and free of lumps, about 2 minutes. Beat in the castor sugar until blended, another 2 minutes. Pour in the sour cream and vanilla essence, then beat again. Crack the eggs in, one by one, whisking well after each addition. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie base (it’s okay if it’s still warm, it doesn’t have to have cooled completely) and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until it appears to be set on the edges and dry to the touch. It’s okay if it’s a bit wobbly in the middle, it will continue to firm up as it cools.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before decorating.
- Spread the hot fudge sauce over the vanilla cheesecake layer, making sure to go right up to the edges.
- Remove the decoration brownies from the rectangular pan and cut into brownies. Layer them on top of the cheesecake.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cheesecake. If you’re feeling extra sweet, you can also drizzle caramel sauce over. Top with sparklers for a fun twist! Serve at room temperature and wow all your guests! If you have leftovers (Gasp!) then store them in a closed container in the fridge. The cheesecake will keep up to 5 days in the fridge and the brownies for a week at room temperature.