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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mexican Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

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Of all the cheesecakes I made for the Cheesecake Extravaganza, I was most skeptical about this one. I wanted to make one with a brownie bottom, but I wasn’t convinced that the cinnamon/cayenne combination would be a crowd-pleaser.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. People, myself included, really loved this unique cheesecake. Upon first bite, your mouth is filled with cinnamon creamy goodness and a bit of rich brownie. It isn’t until a few chews in that you’re suddenly met with just the slightest punch of cayenne. The contrast is surprising, but something about it just works.

I made 1/3 of the recipe to yield two 4 ½-inch cheesecakes, but I’m quite certain there would have been no complaints if I’d made a full-sized cake! Now that I’ve put cayenne in my dessert, I suppose it’s time to put chocolate in something savory, huh?

...and with that I think I'm FINALLY done with cheesecake posts! I did my best to spread them out to not burn you out...but I'll be honest...I'm tempted to make another cheesecake sometime soon. Consider yourself warned ;)

One Year Ago: Chilled Mango and Cucumber Soup

Mexican Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
as seen on Buns in my Oven, originally from Perry's Plate

for the crust-
-1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
-4 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup flour
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-pinch of salt

for the filling-
-3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat)
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tbsp cinnamon
-1/2 cup sour cream (can use light)
-3 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, reduce heat to low and stir in chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt, stirring vigorously until batter is smooth.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the center is barely set. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.
5. While brownie bottom is cooling, prepare filling. Mix cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in sour cream. Add eggs, mixing on low speed, just until blended. Pour batter over cheesecake crust.
6. Place springform pan on a rimmed cookie sheet. Add 3/4-inch of water into the baking sheet. Bake at 325F for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until center is just set (middle will jiggle slightly). Turn off the oven and crack the oven door. Allow to cool until it can be touched without hot pads. Remove from oven and cool on counter to room temperature.
7. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. To serve, run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen cake before removing outer sides of pan. Slice into pieces and serve.