This recipe is (slightly adapted) from one of my absolute favourite cookbooks: Cake Days. I’ve made these cheesecake brownies before, about two years ago and I was flicking through my Hummingbird book and all the creamy, fudgy memories came flooding back! These are sooooo good. I mean, there’s a fair amount of waiting involved so if you struggle with self restraint or patience then I might suggest making something else but seriously, the wait is worth it. The brownie is actually dough-like in consistency which is a bit weird. Although I like the end product and it works, I feel like these could be massively simplified and I am working on a recipe to do just that because we all know simple baking is the best kind of baking. The cheesecake is made with white chocolate to really intensify the flavour of the whole thing and make it that bit more indulgent.
I made these in an 8×8 inch square tin, but if you have a slightly larger one then use that as you get more cheesecake brownies out of the recipe without compromising too much on layers of cheesecake and brownie.
For the brownie:
250g salted butter, room temperature
420g golden caster sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
380g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the cheesecake:
80g good quality white chocolate
300g Philadelphia (I used one of the larger tubs, it’s like 280g or something – it was fine)
60g icing sugar
*TIP – to get your eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes. To get butter softened, place it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, stopping every 5 seconds and don’t let it melt!*
First you need to line your tin, whichever size you end up using make sure you line the bottom and leave overhang for the sides. Then you need to make the brownie dough, to do this you’ll need to cream the butter and sugar for about five minutes until lighter in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer. Sift the dry ingredients together and add the creamy mixture in two batches to the dry ingredients and ensure everything is incorporated. You may need to get in there with your hands for the last stage but it’s pretty therapeutic so it’s not that much of a struggle. Reserve about 1/5 of the dough for the top of the cheesecake brownies and place it in cling film in the fridge. Press the rest of the dough in to the tin, building it up around the sides so the cheesecake has something to sit in. Let the brownie chill in the fridge for about half an hour, or the freezer for 15 minutes.
While your brownie is chilling, make the cheesecake. Pre-heat the oven to 160°FAN. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until it’s all melted and set it aside to cool slightly. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and add the egg. Mix until incorporated. Stir through the chocolate. Don’t worry if the chocolate doesn’t stir through smoothly – the temperature of the cream cheese is to blame here. It makes no difference though, any white chocolate bits melt and dissolve in to the cheesecake while it’s in the oven.
Place the brownie in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. You’ll need to wait for this to cool completely before adding the cheesecake topping so do the washing up (or watch The Good Wife) while you wait for the brownie to cool! Once cooled, pour the cheesecake topping on top and crumble over the reserved brownie dough. Bake at the same temperature for 22-25 minutes or until the cheesecake has set but there is the tiniest wobble when you shake the pan.
Let the whole thing cool. No seriously. Don’t touch it. Don’t even poke it. Just let it cool overnight in the fridge and when you wake up, the new decadent love of your life will be waiting for you. It sounds lame. It is lame. But… trust me.
Melt a couple of squares of white chocolate and drizzle it over the top, if you like. Or don’t. It’s up to you. (You know you want to).Cut in to squares and share with strangers who will become your friends rather quickly.