So I’ve been working on my dessert skills these last few months. Before this year began I was able to make 3 desserts really well; brownies, German chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies. These were my “go to” recipes for parties, bake sales and just about any other occasion calling for something with a ton of sugar. But as I’ve discussed before…my palate bores easily, although very rarely when it comes to brownies and especially not if there are walnuts or pecans mixed in.
I don’t have a big sweet tooth but, of course, my husband has a major sweet tooth. So I have the perfect guinea pig for my experiments. In honor of the new season of Project Runway—13 seasons, can you believe it?!?! Seems like just yesterday the world learned what auf Weidesehen means—I decided to create something that would stun my eyes as much as my taste buds. What better way to celebrate the newest names in fashion than with a tuxedo cheesecake?
I don’t have many guilty pleasures and if pressed I wouldn’t really call this one of mine, but it is a show that LOVE. I have no shame admitting that I shake my head and smack my lips when a designer tries to give Heidi attitude, but I have no problem when they turn the bitch on Nina, because come on…Nina is. But, I digress.
In honor of the new crop of designers I decided to do a little designing of my own. I won’t claim that I’m the first to ever make this, but I did it pretty well. I love brownies—did I mention that?—and he loves cheesecake so I thought why not put them together? Why not, indeed? And that’s how I ended up sweating like a hyena on the run from a pack of lions in the middle of an unusually humid July day in Southern Germany. I had to melt chocolate, half bake a brownie and then full bake a cheesecake while hoping that the brownies didn’t come out overcooked.
Not to toot my own horn, but it came out pretty damned good. I was pretty proud of myself considering that my road to becoming a dessert diva was rocky, unpaved and filled with potholes and obstacles. Since baking requires a level of precision that my creative brain often cannot adhere to, I often had gooey cakes, dry frosting and totally flat cookies. But the more I baked, the better I got. Surprising how that works, right?
This was my third time making cheesecake, peanut butter was my first, and it has improved by degrees and that makes me smile. Especially since I have it on pretty good authority that my brownies kick some serious ass! They are fudgy and moist and richly delicious, so I used that recipe to make sure it didn’t get too try in the middle.
And here…I drizzled a bit of caramel on the last few slices just because I’ve been trying to perfect my caramel for, what else, caramel popcorn!
For Brownie Crust
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup Flour
- ½ stick Unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup Granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup Brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
- 2 cups Cream cheese
- 3 Eggs
- 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 cup Fine brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350
- Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring frequently until chocolate is fully melted.
- Remove from heat, stir in sugar and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in eggs, one at a time until blended.
- Add vanilla extract and flour until blended.
- Pour into springform pan and cook for 20 minutes or until the top is glossy and almost set and place on cooling rack.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until soften and smooth.
- Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition.
- Stream in sugar slowly, continuing to beat until blended.
- Fold in vanilla extract and sour cream until blended.
- Pour cream cheese over brownie crust and place in the middle of the oven.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes in the oven…depending on the weirdness of your oven.
- Let cheesecake sit until room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Chill at least 4 hours and serve.
This dessert is pretty decadent so I’d go for water or spirits…anything sweet or creamy would just be overkill.