Brownie and Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

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I may have got a bit excited when my friend said I could make a cake for her 19th birthday. I possibly got a little over-excited. You could even say I let my excitement get the better of me. When I asked what she felt like and she alluded to light, coconut, fruity, that kind of cake, I think my brain may have been invaded for a brief period. IMG_3894

Instead what we have here is a cheesecake, folded through with chunks of milk chocolate brownie, slathered in dark chocolate ganache and topped with the freshest, reddest strawberries I have bought in quite a while. I was inspired by this amazing cake from Smitten Kitchen but, being nervous about my cups and tablespoon using skills, I used my own brownie recipe (saving the extra for other purposes- my mouth) and a slightly modified cheesecake recipe. The strawberries were an ode to the birthday girls original request for fruit.
IMG_3887The milk chocolate brownies were an attempt to dial down the richness of the cake. As well as this the biscuit base has massively reduced sugar and the filling does as well. Even so, this is not the dessert for the diabetes-ridden amongst us. It is very rich, very chocolatey, It is creamy and fudgy and crunchy all at the same time, and the strawberries are fresh distractions that sit happily on their bed of silky chocolate. I don’t know how Deb from Smitten Kitchen comes up with such great birthday cake ideas, but once you have a look at her sight you’ll agree. There’s just about every perfect birthday cake idea known to man on there.
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I recommend you make this cake. It may not win the beauty award, but it will make you, and your family, and your friends, very very happy. Or if you can’t be bothered, just make the brownies and add a swirl of cream cheese through the middle! I won’t tell anyone. IMG_3838

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Cheesecake: Recipe adapted from here:
1 quantity of This Brownie Recipe, minus the caramel.

For the Base:

250g (or 2 cups) crushed chocolate biscuits. I used Arnotts chocolate ripple

70g (full 2/3 cup) butter, melted

25g (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

Mix all ingredients together well. Press into a lined and greased 23cm springform pan and bake for ten minutes, until firm.

Filling:

650g (23 ounces, scant 1.5 pounds) softened cream cheese

4 eggs at room temperature

200g (1 cup) granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

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Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Slowly add  eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Slowly add sugar and vanilla and stop beating as soon as they are absorbed. Fold through about 2 cups of the chopped brownies, or as many as you feel you want in your ratio. Pour the filling into your prepared pan. Put a tray in the bottom of your oven filled with water, and place the cheesecake on a rack above this. Cook at 170° for 40 minutes until the outside is set but the middle is still wobbly. Leave in the oven with the door open to cool completely. Chill overnight. 

Ganache: Heat 55g (1/4 cup) heavy cream with 55g (1/4 cup) butter until almost boiling. Pour over 85g (scant 1/2 cup) dark chocolate pieces and stir until combined. Cool briefly before pouring on the cheesecake and smoothing over the surface. Top with strawberries or whatever berry is available and best. (About 250g or half a pound). Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar. 

One thought on “Brownie and Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

  1. Pingback: Strawberry Dark Chocolate Cheesecake | Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

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