Chocolate Lover’s Fudge Brownie Cheesecake

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
Ingredients

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

For assembly: 

  • Hot fudge sauce
  • about 50g of dark chocolate, melted
  • grated dark chocolate for garnish

Start by preparing the brownies + brownie base

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before decorating.

For assembly:

  1. Spread the hot fudge sauce over the vanilla cheesecake layer, making sure to go right up to the edges.
  2. Remove the decoration brownies from the rectangular pan and cut into brownies. Layer them on top of the cheesecake.
  3. 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.
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Lemon Curd

2k16 is upon us. That means 366 days of absolute agony getting the opportunity to go into the world and be the best that I can be. This year, apart from being my last year of high school, will be the year that I continue my progression from a heartless pessimist and cynic to a more open-minded optimist 🙂 The creepy smiley face confirms this, it’s friendly, innocent and almost completely innocuous. Almost.

One thing I can definitely guarantee you is that you will be seeing a lot of this lemon curd in 2k16. A lot of it, you will be so sick of me like ‘Can’t you cook anything else?!’I can, yes, but I just feel like I’m not yet done with this creamy yellow deliciousness, I have very big plans for it. Very big plans indeed. 

  My first attempt at making lemon curd was about a year ago, and only about 56% failure. At the end of the day, I had a very yellow, very sour, very yummy substance. Just that it was liquid. It had not thickened AT ALL. Reason being that I was very impatient with my curd on the stove  and had removed it prematurely. And this is where I warn you, do not, and I repeat DO NOT remove the curd from the stove top until it has thickened considerably and when you run a spoon through it, it leaves streaks.

Also, you’re probably going to wonder if using 6 egg yolks is really necessary. After my first fail at this recipe, I decided to return to my office/bedroom to fully understand what went wrong and how I could fix it. Purely by analysis of ingredients, I deduced that the only way to get a thick lemon curd, would be to add more egg yolks. And so I did, and I am happy with the results. Or if you’re concerned about the 6 egg whites that will have nowhere to go, here’s an idea: whisk the egg whites together briefly with a pinch of salt and pepper and fry them like an omelette. Easy peasy protein packed breakfast.
Don’t like sweet stuff? Add less sugar. Want it to be more tart? Don’t be shy with that lemon juice! The colour making you sick? Use more whole eggs and less yolk, that’s the easiest way to tone down the beautiful sunshine colour (you heartless monster).  

Another note: do not try to cook this in a saucepan. Because you will fail. And you will have a plate of lemony scrambled eggs on your hands. You have been warned. Instead, fill the saucepan about ¾ of the way to top with boiling water, put your stove on the lowest heat setting, sit a large bowl over the saucepan and make your curd in there. Just make sure the bowl is not plastic. I also happened to make the mistake of melting the bowl and having it glued to the pan. And I’m supposed to be the scientist. If you feel like you are going to die before the curd is ready, feel free to turn the heat up a bit on the stove, just remember what I said about scrambled eggs then remember that patience is a virtue and this curd is to die for.

But Andrea, what on earth will I do with a jar of this heavenly pud? I’ll give you a few ideas, spread it on your toast, fill some pastry with it, use it as a filling for cupcakes (coming soon, spoiler alert), ice your pavlova with it (also coming soon) or just grab a spoon and indulge! If it’s acceptable to eat Nutella out the jar, the same should go for lemon curd.

Missing out on this spooooiler
Huge spoiler alert 😉

Lemon Curd 

Ingredients

6 egg yolks

*1 whole egg

¼ cup castor sugar

½ cup lemon juice

½ tbsp grated lemon rind

¼ cup cold margarine, cut into small pieces

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients except the margarine to a medium heatproof bowl and mix well to combine
  2. Fill a saucepan ¾ of the way to the top with boiling water and set it over the stove on low heat. Place your bowl over the lid of the saucepan and stir continuously, taking breaks, until the mixture has thickened considerably and when you run a spoon through it, it leaves permanent streaks in the curd. This will take you between 10 and 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes, the curd hasn’t thickened, increase the heat and continue to stir until it does.
  3. Remove the bowl from heat and add the margarine pieces bit by bit until all the pieces have melted and combined to give you what we can now call, LEMON CURD.
  4. Strain the curd into a jar to remove any lumps/cooked egg. Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve.

*If you’re a bit nervous about adding 6 egg yolks, it’s okay to play with the ingredients and add 4 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs, or 5 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, your curd will just be less thick and the colour won’t be as strikingly yellow.