Back in 2014, I started keeping a list of food I want to try making after seeing recipes on Youtube or pictures on Instagram. That being said, my list grew longer with time but I rarely ventured into trying those recipes, sticking with the desserts I knew and loved instead most of the time: brownies, apple crumble, ice-cream, NY cheesecake, pavlova… However, I’ve recently found myself trying loads of new recipes. This is the most I’ve ever baked in one summer! Perhaps it was the time I had during lockdown, or me growing as a person, but I’m less afraid of baking fails now. I still worry about how bakes will turn out when they’re in the oven or what if the flavour isn’t as I want it, but I’m able to accept and work with failures instead of allowing that to push me back to my comfort zone.
Sorry for the ramble if you’ve read all that! As I was saying, cheesecake brownies were one of the items on there, so I finally decided to try making them, coincidentally on National Cheesecake Day! These little squares are definitely rich and decadent (but not sickly sweet!) with the fudgy brownie base balanced with the creamier cheesecake.
I actually ate them whilst they were still warm and I was so disappointed by the texture and flavour– a very dark & chocolatey brownie and a soft unset cheesecake. However, I had one the next morning after they had been sitting in the fridge and they were exactly what I was hoping for– a fudgy brownie base that’s not too overpowering with the dark chocolate, then the dense NY cheesecake layer just like the ones I love! So as excited as you may be, LET THEM CHILL IN THE FRIDGE FIRST!!!
How to make cheesecake brownies
Start by making the brownie batter. Using a microwave, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl with 10-30 second bursts, stirring in between until it’s all melted. Note: I used 70% chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips / milk chocolate if you prefer a sweeter brownie.
Whisk in the sugar
Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract.
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then whisk until just incorporated.
Save 1/2 cup of the batter for swirling into the cheesecake on the top. Pour the rest of the batter into a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread into an even layer.
To make the cheesecake layer, cream the cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract and cornstarch and beat until incorporated.
Pour this over the brownie layer and spread into an even layer using a rubber / offset spatula.
Using a teaspoon, spoon dollops of the reserved brownie batter onto the cheesecake.
Dip a knife in hot water, and without wiping off the excess water, swirl the brownie batter into the cheesecake layer. The brownie batter will be quite thick.
Bake in the oven at 180C for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool at room temperature, then transfer the whole pan to refrigerate overnight (or at least for 6 hours).
Cut into squares and enjoy! I cut mine into 24 squares.
A creamy cheesecake layer on top of a fudgy brownie
- BROWNIE LAYER
- 248g dark (70%) chocolate
- 113g unsalted butter
- 100g white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 96g all-purpose flour
- 15g cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt CHEESECAKE LAYER
- 290g cream cheese
- 50g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a ???baking tray with parchment paper, leaving the sides hanging up.
- To make the brownie layer, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave in 10-30s bursts and stirring in between. If the chocolate is very hot, allow to cool down slightly before adding the eggs. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract, whisking between each addition.
- Sift in the flour, salt and cocoa powder and whisk until just incorporated. Reserve 1/2 cup of batter and pour the rest into your tin, spreading into an even layer.
- To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and cornstarch, mixing in between each addition.
- Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter and spread into an even layer using an offset spatula.
- Using a teaspoon, place dollops of the reserved brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer. Using a knife dipped in hot water, create swirls on top.
- Bake at 180C for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe. Tell me what you thought of it!