Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brownie Bite Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

You may remember me mentioning how my husband's family was visiting us last month. Well, while they were here, my brother-in-law's girlfriend was going to be having a birthday...which meant that I had an excuse needed to bake something extraordinary! As soon as my brother-in-law told me what she liked, this little beauty of a cheesecake came to my memory.

You see, there's this blog I read often, and I had stumbled upon this recipe last fall. And I haven't stopped thinking about it since I first laid eyes on it. So you can believe me when I say that I jumped at the opportunity to make this cheesecake!

It was so much fun to bake this dessert, in secret, while she was in the next room! Hehehe I love being sneaky. I cheated and used my favorite box of brownie mix, and due to my time/facility restraints, I could not wait for them to cool before cutting them. This meant that I ended up making little balls of hot brownies, which may account for the somewhat muddled appearance when the cheesecake was cut into slices. But oh my, oh my! I cannot begin to tell you how delicious this was!

I'll start at the top. The chocolate ganache, amazing. Silky smooth and chocolatey, and it's there to cover any possible cracks that may have appeared on the cheesecake (or rogue brownie bites for that matter)! Just be sure that when you cover it, the plastic wrap doesn't stick to the wet ganache, because that happened to me and then my topping was a little messed up.

Next the cheesecake. Perfectly creamy and sweet. And mix it in with brownie bites? Heaven. My husband said that the cheesecake filling was a little too cream cheesey...but he doesn't like cream cheese, so his comment doesn't count, right?

And finally, the buttery oreo crust. You just can't go wrong there, especially when you double the crust recipe. I know the crust would have been too thin without doubling it, but I think that next time I would have done 1.5 times the original amount. The edges were a little thick and somewhat like hard rocks when you tried to cut it. But it was soft when you ate it. This remains a mystery to me!

To make an already long story longer, I'll have you know that my brother-in-law declared this the best cheesecake he had ever, ever, eaten; and it received rave reviews from the rest of the family as well. Happy baking!

If you would like to make the brownies from scratch, use this link. Also, the crust amounts listed are for a single crust only. I doubled it; you may want to do that also.

Brownie Bite Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache (Print)
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Prep: 40 minutes / Bake: 40-50 minutes / Cool: 10+ hours
Yield: 12 servings

1 Box brownie mix + ingredients to make brownies

1. Prepare brownies according to package directions.

2. Allow to cool and cut into 3/4 inch squares. Reserve 2 cups and eat the rest!

1-1/2 cups crushed oreos (1-1/2 rows of double stuff oreos package)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Grease a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan (mine is a 9-inch). Combine all ingredients and press in to bottom of pan and 1-inch up the sides. Using a glass cup to flatten the crust makes this process easier. Use right away or refrigerate for 2 hours.

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat softened cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Make sure there are no (or few) lumps in the cheese before adding the eggs. I have made two cheesecakes and they both had lumps! This seemed to be a major crisis to me, but after they are baked, you can't even tell!

2. Add the eggs and vanilla all at once, beating on low speed until combined. Scrape down bowl as needed. Avoid overbeating as too much air will cause the cheesecake to collapse when it cools.

3. Gently stir in the brownie bites. Pour batter into prepared crust.

4. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet (to catch dripping butter). Bake in the center of the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the edges are slightly puffed and the center (about 2 inches in diameter) jiggles slightly. You usually shouldn't use a knife/toothpick to check for doneness as this can cause the cake to crack, but if you really must, the ganache will cover any imperfections.

5. Cool the cheesecake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife along the inside edge to loosen the cake, do not remove the sides of the pan. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Then refrigerate, uncovered for 3-4 hours. After 3-4 hours, prepare the ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

3 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (1-1/2 teaspoons for semisweet chips)

1. Place the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the butter and cream in a bowl. Microwave butter and cream on high for 1 minute.

2. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, whisking until smooth.

3. Pour over the cheesecake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

4. Before serving the cheesecake, take the rim off the pan and slice. For best flavor, allow slices to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.

My Review
  • Preparation: 2
    • This cheesecake is a lot of work, but most of the time is needed for cooling, so plan ahead!
  • Taste: 5
    • Exceptionally delicous. I think it rivals Cheesecake Factory!
  • Cost: 4
    • It's worth every penny!
  • Clean-up: 3
    • A lower rating, but technically, you can do dishes during all the cooling time!
  • Changes
    • As I mentioned before, I think the double crust was a little too much.
    • I also may potentially decrease the butter in the crust, maybe by just a tablespoon. It seemed a bit greasy to me, and there was a lot of butter on the baking sheet too. Maybe it has to do with the oreos, but the classic cheesecake I made didn't have any drippings.
  • Summary
    • If you're up for a challenge with a delicious reward, try out this cheesecake!


  1. Nah Jeremiah's comment is nullified by Jacob's best ever declaration!
    ;) Looks amazing and I can only imagine how it tasted!
    Feel free to make ! cheesecake for your sister when she comes to visit, I heard she like lemon, but this one would do!

  2. Monica - I made this today and OH MY! It is so amazing. FYI, I didn't double the crust but used 2 rows of regular oreos with 4 T. butter (same amount of sugar) and it turned out great. The crust was not greasy but held the shape nicely. Of course, we couldn't wait 6 hours for it to chill - looked way too yummy for that. Still was delicious slightly warm so can't wait to try it again after proper chilling. Will have to make this next time Kin is home. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mindy, thanks for the tip about the crust! I'm sure that Kin would love this too!

  4. Of COURSE he would say it's "too cream cheesy." LOL, only he would say that. I WANT SOME. NOW.