Cooking Corner: Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

For the serious baker, or for those craving a truly decadent dessert, a brownie-bottom cheesecake offers the best of two worlds by combining classic favorites. Be forewarned, this recipe requires a bit more effort than the usual cooking corner, but the result is well-worth the effort. (Recipe is courtesy of

For brownie crust:
-1 cup sugar
-4 squares unsweetened chocolate
-2 eggs
-1/4 cup milk
-1/2 cup butter
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup flour
-1/2 tsp salt
For cheesecake:
-3 eggs
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
-1/2 cup sour cream

*Hints and tips. The best pan to use for cheesecake is a spring form pan (meaning the sides of the circular dish are removable), but any deep pie dish will work as well. Make sure to grease the pan thoroughly before use. When making the cheesecake, it is helpful to soften the cream cheese by leaving it at room temperature for a few hours before baking. Also, if pressed for time, a box brownie-mix can be substituted for the brownie crust.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F and begin by making the brownie mixture for the crust of the cheesecake. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heavy pan, stirring constantly, over low heat. Cool the chocolate mixture then add the sugar and eggs, blending well. Stir in the milk, vanilla, flour and salt. Spoon the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 minutes.

While the brownies bake, make the cheesecake mixture. Start by beating the cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixture until well blended. Mix in the sour cream. Once the brownie mix is finished cooking and cooled, pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked crust and put back in the oven for 55 minutes (or until the center is almost set). Cool completely then garnish with chocolate curls, nuts, or chocolate sauce. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

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