As a thank you to my neighbor for plowing our driveway, over the weekend I made him and his family my favorite cheesecake – Hot Fudge Brownie. It’s a recipe that I got from my best friend and makes a very rich and creamy cheesecake.
To make it, you’ll need a 9 or 10 inch springform pan, and another pan to place it and an inch of water in while it’s baking (a roaster pan like one of those aluminium pans you would roast a turkey in). Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with extra heavy duty tin foil. The foil should hit the top of the springform pan to form a barrier to the water bath it will bake in. Preheat oven to 350°. The cheesecake will bake at that temp, and so do most brownies.
Then to make the cheesecake, I start with a brownie crust. You can either use a box mix (I usually add choc chips to mine), or any brownie recipe you like. Mix up your brownie batter according to box or recipe, spray the bottom of springform pan with cooking spray (or butter the bottom) and pour in enough batter to cover the bottom, about ¼ inch thick. If you’d like a thicker crust, add more brownie batter. Bake as usual then set on cooling rack to rest.
Next the homemade hot fudge. For that, you’ll need:
5 squares unsweetened cocoa
½ cup butter (1 stick)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 can (14 ½ oz) evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Melt chocolate and butter in medium saucepan. Add sugar and milk alternately. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let rest a minute or two to thicken just a bit. Then pour/spread a layer of hot fudge over brownie crust. . . about ¼ inch thick (more or less as desired).
Finally the cheesecake. It’s easiest if you use a stand mixer for this part. It also helps to unwrap the cream cheese and let it sit out while you make the brownie crust and hot fudge. Also, let the eggs sit out and get to room temperature.
For the cheesecake you’ll need:
3 – 8oz packages cream cheese
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
On low, mix the cream cheese and sugar. I usually add the egg yolks first in case I break one, I can just use it as one of the whole eggs. Add the yolks and eggs one at a time and mix between each, scraping the sides of the bowl to get rid of any cream cheese lumps. Keep the mixer on low. . . the less air you mix in, the creamier your cheesecake will be. Add in heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into springform pan over the hot fudge. Place springform in larger pan, set on middle rack and add water to the bottom of the outside pan. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes. I usually set the time for the 55 minutes, then check it. You’ll know the cheesecake is done when you wiggle it and it “moves as one” instead of ripples everywhere. That statement will make more sense as you do this.
When done, set on a cooling rack to cool. Cracks will form if it cools too quickly. Refrigerate once cool.