It was my Dad's, sweet baby boy's, and my husband's birthdays all within the first 8 days of the month. So- needless to say we've been eating more than our share of sweets around here!
Last weekend I baked a special request dessert for B- a brownie bottom cheesecake- of which I had never made- and it came out pretty darn good. Here's what I did...
The brownie recipe came from a Moosewood cookbook (known for their amazing vegetarian recipes)- this brownie is not the best for picking up and eating- but totally delicious as the base for a sundae- OR (as they suggest in the book)- crumbled and frozen for sundae toppings.... (or a totally delicious frozen snack)
After gathering the few ingredients- I decided to line my spring form pan with waxed paper (this worked out okay- it did stick to the bottom (but easially peeled off)- maybe parchment? or a better pan?- I was worried that mine would leak so I opted to line it)
Then, I melted the butter and chocolate together in a sauce pan over low heat- while that's happening-
I beat the eggs together
added the brown sugar, and vanilla
then added the flour and whisked it all together
then I let the chocolate mixture cool a bit- then beat it into the remaining ingredients
then- I poured it into the lined pan and under baked it (16 min., as opposed to 2o-25)- my pan was larger than the recommended 8x8 inch brownie pan- plus I figured the brownie would be cooking again with the cheesecake...
Here's how it looked after 16 min.- done around the edges and a bit soft in the center
For the cheesecake recipe- I turned to the "bible" of classic recipes...
and opted for the creamy water bath cheesecake- simple recipe- a few ingredients- very straight forward
I started by creaming the room temperature cream cheese
then, added in the sugar
then- whipped in the vanilla, sour cream, milk (the recipe called for heavy cream which I replaced with skim milk), and eggs- 1 at a time
it has a pudding consistency when it's all combined
then I placed the brownie (in the pan) on top of a piece of foil-wrapped it around the edges- and then placed it in a roasting pan-poured the cheesecake batter on top- and slid it into the oven
then poured boiling water halfway up the pan to create a water bath around the cheescake- it creates a super-creamy cheesecake...
after baking it for an hour, I turned off the oven and propped the door open with a wooden basting brush and let it cool for another 2 hours before sticking it in the fridge overnight.
Here's a few shots of the finished product:
I ended up shaving some bittersweet chocolate on top- and serving it with homemade chocolate sauce, and Stonewall Kitchens Coffee Caramel sauce-
OH. SO. TASTY.
Brownies * I think I would double this if I made it again- or use a smaller spring form pan*
Source: Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home Cookbook
1/2 cup butter
3 ounces chopped chocolate
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unbleached flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8"x8" square pan. Melt butter and chocolate in a pot stirring occasionally. While they melt- beat eggs with a fork, add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in the flour until the batter is smooth. Add in the melted butter/chocolate mixture. Pour batter into pan and bake 20 min. until the brownies are just beginning to pull away from the pan and fudegy in the center. For cake-like brownies- bake an additional 5 min.
Source: Joy of Cooking
ALL ingredients should be room temperature before starting
2lbs. (4 boxes) of cream cheese
11/2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk or cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsps. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon zest (I omitted this- but it would be divine with a graham cracker crust and fresh blueberry sauce...maybe with a hint of mint in the sauce...)
Wrap outside of the pan in foil and place in a deep roasting dish.
Blend cream cheese until it's smooth, add in sugar and vanilla. Add in eggs, 1 at a time beating until smooth, add in milk, sour cream and zest (if using). Pour into pan. Place pan in oven- pour boiling water into the roasting pan surrounding the cheesecake pan. Bake at 325 degrees 55-60 min. Bake until the edges look set but the center is still jiggly when you tap the pan. Turn off the oven- and prop the door open with a wooden spoon (or brush), for at least an hour. Let cool completely before unmolding.- its; best to refrigerate a cheesecake at least 5 hours before serving.
Oh- and here's a glimpse at our latest past time...we call it floor sledding...