Print
Brownie Cheesecake. Picture of a cut slice.

Brownie Cheesecake

Brownie Cheesecake. A luscious, creamy vanilla cheesecake sits atop a chocolate cookie crumb crust, topped with mounds of mini brownies and a drizzle of rich chocolate ganache.

Course Dessert
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 16 servings

Ingredients

For the Cheesecake

  • 1 1/3 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3 eight ounce packages ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream

For the Mini Brownies

  • 1/2 cup plus one rounded tablespoon of flour
  • 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate Melted (or about 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips melted)
  • 1/2 cup plus one rounded tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 3 rounded tbsp light-brown sugar
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

To prepare the Cheesecake

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs,sugar and melted butter.
  2. Press into the bottom of a lightly greased or parchment lined 9 inch springform pan. (Grease bottom only!) Parchment paper is ideal here because it makes it very easy to release the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Cream together the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  6. Finally blend in the whipping cream.
  7. Pour over the prepared base and bake in a bain marie (See Note) at 300 degrees F for 60 minutes to 70 minutes. The cheesecake does not have to brown at all in order to be fully baked; the surface of the cheesecake should lose any shine when the cake is properly baked. It can still be slightly wobbly just at the center at this point.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp knife completely around the edge of the pan. This will allow for the cheesecake to shrink as it cools and hopefully not crack (but who cares if it does? I am never bothered by a crack or two in the surface) Allow the cheesecake to cool thoroughly on a wire rack at room temperature. (NOT in the fridge). Refrigerate after fully cooled.
  9. Top with the mini brownies and drizzle with chocolate ganache before serving.

To prepare the Mini Brownies

  1. Sift together flour, cocoa and salt.
  2. Melt together butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat. Do not let this mixture overheat.
  3. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
  4. Add egg, vanilla and sugars. Stir very well until sugars are almost dissolved.
  5. Gently fold in dry ingredients.
  6. Pour batter into a 8 inch square baking pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for about 15-18 minutes at 325 degrees F or until the surface of the center of the brownies appears dry and firm. Toothpick test will not work for this recipe but it will tell you if the middle is still liquid. Do not over bake these brownies or they will be dry rather than moist and chewy.
  8. Cool completely before cutting into 1/2 inch squares.

To prepare the Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a double boiler, melt together the whipping cream and chocolate chips
  2. Drizzle over the brownies and cheesecake.

Recipe Notes

A word about baking a cheesecake in a bain marie before starting the recipe. A bain marie is simply a water bath that buffers the direct heat from the sides and bottom of the baking pan to more evenly bake the cheesecake from the sides to the center.I bake my cheesecakes in a 9 inch springform pan that has the bottom and sides wrapped in multiple layers of wide heavy duty aluminum foil which forms a sort of boat that the cheesecake pan sits in. The roll of aluminum foil that I use is about 16 inches wide. I use at least 4 layers of foil to make sure that no water leaks in and ruins the crust of my cheesecake. The aluminum foil wrapped pan is then placed inside a larger baking pan; I use a 12 inch cake pan. Boiling water is then poured into the larger pan filling it from 1/2 to 2/3 of the way to the top.

I find it best to pour the boiling water into the pan after it is placed on the rack in the oven as you are less likely to splash water onto the cheesecake or inside the aluminum foil. I reuse the aluminum foil for several future cheesecakes, adding a couple of layers to it each time just to be safe.